Pakatan govt’s focus must be inclusive, Anwar says

First Picture: PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim gestures to his party members during a townhall session entitled ‘Millennials Challenge Towards New Malaysia’ in the Grand Paragon Hotel in Johor Baru today. — Picture by Ben Tan
First Picture: PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim gestures to his party members during a townhall session entitled ‘Millennials Challenge Towards New Malaysia’ in the Grand Paragon Hotel in Johor Baru today. — Picture by Ben Tan

JOHOR BARU, April 20 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government should not solely focus only on the Malay agenda but it should be inclusive in the interest of justice, said PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said the government needs to compartmentalise for all citizens of all races in the interest of justice.

“This is justice for all. If we want justice, there is a need to be consistent in our stand.

“We cannot exploit (any particular race) as we respect humanity,” said Anwar to a crowd of PKR youths during a townhall session entitled ‘Millennials Challenge Towards New Malaysia’ in the Grand Paragon Hotel here today.

Present during the event was Johor PKR chief Hassan Hassan Abdul Karim and the state’s top party leaders. Also present was PKR youth chief Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir and Johor PKR youth chief R. Yuneswaran.

Anwar said he has tried to instil the concept of “justice for all” in PKR as a way forward.

He said some people labelled him as a “dreamer” akin to the late nationalist Datuk Onn Ja’afar for having an all inclusive stand that promotes needs-based policies.

Second Picture: PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government should not solely focus only on the Malay agenda but it should be all inclusive in the interest of justice. — Picture by Ben Tan
Second Picture: PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government should not solely focus only on the Malay agenda but it should be all inclusive in the interest of justice. — Picture by Ben Tan

“Yes Datuk Onn was one, but don’t tell me after more than 50 years there is no change?” asked Anwar, in reference to the Independence Malaya Party (IMP) founded by Onn in 1951 that opposed Umno’s policy of Malay supremacy.

The 71-year-old Port Dickson MP stressed that he understood that the Malays also made-up the majority when it came to needs-based support compared with the Chinese, Indians and other races.

“I’m Malay and I know the issues faced. So, I feel that the PH government can succeed if we focus our efforts on the less fortunate, which brings in needs-based policies.”

On the new PH government’s transition after 61 years under Barisan Nasional (BN), Anwar admitted that it was not an easy task.

He said this not about whether Dr Mahathir Mohamad or Anwar Ibrahim becomes the next prime minister as it is more about the agenda for reform.

“Thus the concept of consensus and understanding within PH is important in its transition from the previous administration.

“I understand things are not easy as we transition from a semi-authoritarian and kleptocracy regime to one that is democratic,” he said, believed to be in reference to the previous BN administration under former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.