Good management vital for developing Malaysia — Wan Azizah

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 7): Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Government has laid strong foundations via a well-run administration to keep Malaysia on the right development track.

PH has been working hard to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the people who voted the coalition in the 14th General Election in May last year, she said.

"The reality is we are an inexperienced new government although the Prime Minister (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) is the most experienced in the world.

“It is important (for) good governance in administrating a Malaysia that is multiracial and multicultural as well as to fulfil the people's hopes,”she told newsmen in a special interview, in conjunction with PH's first year of rule, at her office at the Parliament, building recently.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said various new initiatives and programme improvements were carried out to improve the socio-economic standards of the people and to chart the nation's course.

On her Ministry, among the programmes introduced is the Suri Incentive Scheme (i-Suri) with a RM45 million allocation aimed at providing financial stability for womenfolk, in particular housewives and also the Child Sex Offenders Registry.

The Ministry has also approved 65 nurseries (TASKA) in government offices and efforts to maximise manpower and resources to improve the lives of targetted groups.  

Dr Wan Azizah said the Ministry was focused on improving parenting skills as well as creating neighbourhoods free from social problems.

The Deputy Prime Minister dreams of a Malaysian society that is independent and less reliant on aid and handouts.

"We want a developed and progressive nation for all. I am always for the equitable distribution of the country’s wealth when we develop this country where every citizen gets to enjoy the benefits, but of course, we must also contribute towards this cause.”

“We can't expect to just enjoy being the benefectors and then (question) what the Government is doing (for us).

“It's not good if we our criticisms are constantly not constructive, as Malaysians we must join hands and build this nation together,” she said.

On her stint as the nation's first woman deputy premier, Dr Wan Azizah said she was leaving it to Malaysians to evaluate.

As a human being, she admits to having limitations, but said it was not for lack of trying.

"I know that I have my limitation, I think people also know, sometimes you can see that I try very hard. All my officers have helped me a lot. I humbly admit that I have a lot to learn but I’m willing to learn," she said.

Responding to a question on what would be her role once her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim becomes the prime minister, Wan Azizah said she would not engage actively in politics.

"I will not go into active politics, I think, until I finish my term. But I think it is more important to be a very responsible citizen of Malaysia and having been where I have been and gone through, I think I can contribute, and I should, that’s my role, I think," she said.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said he would hand over the reins to Anwar who is the Member of Parliament for Port Dickson and PKR President, as agreed previously.