PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today acknowledged that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government sometimes behaved as though it was still in the opposition.
He said this was despite the coalition’s landmark victory in the May 9 polls, where it wrested control of Putrajaya after 61 years of Barisan Nasional rule.
“We found that the opposition traits are still there, even though we have become the government. We still have the opposition mentality.
“However, in a short period, we have made adjustments. We have come to the realisation (that we are no longer the opposition),” he said in his speech to 60 Perdana Fellowship recipients at the Bangunan Perdana Putra today.
Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, other PH ministers, and Chief Secretary to the Government Ali Hamsa.
Mahathir said in this regard, the younger generation must be groomed for the future, and should learn from those who are already working and holding positions in the government.
“We have known what it is like to be in the opposition. When we are the government, we act like a ruling government,” he added.
He said through the Perdana Fellowship, students had the opportunity to see how to be a government leader.
“I am confident that with this system, when their turn comes, they can carry themselves with the attitude of the government.
“We need to be ready for the future. The old need to give way to the young. But we cannot rule out those who are older have the experience.
“The young can benefit from the experience and guidance of the old,” he said.
The PH chairman added that people should not wait until they are too old to be leaders, saying a person could be a leader at the age of 25 as well.
“Congratulations to those who have been chosen. I hope they can learn from those who hold high positions.
“This is the time for the youth to be involved and contribute to the country. Who knows, we may have another young minister,” he said.
The Perdana Leadership Programme is an initiative under the youth and sports ministry to produce youth who are dynamic, competitive and have relevant knowledge, not just of the country’s Cabinet system, but also in all aspects of leadership and administration, so that they can develop the country in the near future.
The ministry received a total of 542 applications, 374 from students and graduates in the country and 168 from those abroad. From these, 60 were chosen.
The programme, which has been going on since 2013, has so far produced 400 young leaders.