KUALA LUMPUR: Marina Mahathir, the eldest daughter of prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has welcomed her father’s comments today admitting it was time his government was criticised and scrutinised by the opposition.
Mahathir said earlier today that this was because Pakatan Harapan (PH), which he leads, has not done well in fulfilling most of the promises listed in its 14th general election manifesto in the allocated time-frame.
He also said, at an event commemorating the nation’s independence day, that it was fair to call PH out for being “slow”, recognising that he had inexperienced Cabinet members on board to do the job of running the country.
When approached by FMT later and asked if she would call out her father’s government when it came to causes and issues she was passionate about, Marina said she would do so when the situation required her to do so.
She added she would speak out against any eye-brow-raising moves by PH but said she could only speak for the interests associated with her.
“They (PH) just have to remain honest,” she told FMT when approached outside the Bukit Damansara community centre here.
Asked if NGOs would consider taking this “courtesy call” and similarly criticise the powers that be, Marina said it wouldn’t be the first time.
“I don’t think we are holding back anyway,” the vocal rights activist said after the Merdeka function organised by NGO Malaysians for Malaysia, breaking into laughter.
“It’s a part of our job to keep them on their toes. All we want is for them to be honest and accountable.”
Marina, however, hoped that these bodies would not be persecuted for speaking out against the government, as was the case not too long ago.
“We want this government to work so much. We worked so hard for this.
“So, we are hoping very much that our criticisms will not be taken in the same way it was before.”
Marina has in the past spoken up for human rights and against homophobia.
She formerly chaired the Malaysian AIDS Foundation.