Johor Sultan had no influence in state exco line-up: Mahathir, Latest World News - The New Paper

Johor Sultan had no influence in state exco line-up: Mahathir

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Malaysian PM says latest changes in state executive councillor line-up determined by political leadership

PUTRAJAYA The Sultan of Johor has no influence in determining the state executive councillor (exco) line-up, said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

He was asked if Johor's Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar had any say on the matter after three new exco members were sworn in by the Sultan yesterday.

"The Sultan has no influence," said Dr Mahathir, after launching an Orang Asli convention here yesterday.

Asked if the latest changes in the exco line-up were decided by the state Pakatan Harapan leadership, he merely replied: "I suppose it is."

Dr Mahathir also said the government would look into the quota system for the Education Ministry's matriculation programme.

"We will study the problem," he said, when asked about calls for the system to be abolished.

Education Minister Maszlee Malik is expected to raise the issue in a Cabinet meeting tomorrow.

Currently, 90 per cent of the intake is for bumiputera students while 10 per cent is allocated to non-bumiputeras.

The annual student intake for the matriculation programme is 25,000, of which 2,500 seats are allocated for non-bumiputera students.

Dr Maszlee said in a statement last Friday that the 2,200 and 1,000 seats allocated respectively for Indian and Chinese students in the programme was a "one-off initiative" only for last year.

It was also based on current needs and involved seats allocated under the bumiputera quota that had not been filled.

In a separate interview with The Star, Dr Mahathir admitted some of the promises in the election manifesto - such as the abolition of toll - as things that cannot be done in the immediate term without the government stretching its finances.

However, he views it as a significant achievement that the government has managed to steer the country through what he thinks was a difficult period without causing too much disruption to the people's lives.

"(That) we can work as a good coalition government is an achievement. The Cabinet has been very supportive, I must say that when there is a difference among the ministers, they go according to my views as they want to be seen as united.

"So there is quite a good loyalty (to the Prime Minister)," said Dr Mahathir.- THE STAR