Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof said today that PKR leader Rafizi Ramli should help the Pakatan Harapan administration govern the country better instead of criticising the coalition.
“Rafizi is a smart person, but he should help Harapan govern the nation for the better, instead of running us down,” he was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.
Redzuan was responding to an opinion piece penned by Rafizi, in which the latter said that the approval rating of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is on the decline.
Rafizi said that Harapan should focus on delivering its election promises, rather than being sidetracked by "internal power dynamics."
He also stressed that it would be futile for Harapan – which obtained less than 30 percent of Malay votes in the May general election – to outdo Umno and PAS in the hope of winning the support of the community.
"We can never become more Malay than Umno or more politically Islamic than PAS. Race and religion are Umno and PAS' strength; the economic platform is our platform.
"True enough, the results of 14th general election validated this.
"In spite of all the efforts to show Bersatu carried the Malay torch within Harapan... those gestures did not bring significant Malay votes to Harapan," he wrote.
The bigger picture
Though welcoming Rafizi's appraisal, Redzuan said there was a need to look at the bigger picture – especially for a leader in PKR, a key party in the ruling coalition.
Redzuan, who sits on the Bersatu supreme council, also stressed that the survey cited by Rafizi in his opinion piece did not necessarily indicate that Harapan is failing.
As he pointed out, it is not unusual for any administration to suffer a dip in approval during an economic downturn.
“You can’t please everyone. Many people are unhappy, and this is understandable as expectations are high as to what the government can do. Changes cannot be done overnight,” he said.
Redzuan noted that any leader's approval rating will go up when the country is doing well economically.
“You need to look at where Mahathir is starting from. He is picking up the pieces, so you need to give him time."
The prime minister, Redzuan said, faces a "mammoth clean-up task" due to the high national debt left behind by the previous administration, and is also beset by infighting within Harapan and racial polarisation.
As such, the members of Mahathir's cabinet are not just tasked with "fixing" past weaknesses, but also to create value in many spheres of governance, he added.