KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — Top of the agenda for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council meeting tomorrow is on Malaysia’s economy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.
The PKR president added that the much-touted transition of power from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to him was less of a priority, despite the chorus of calls these past few months pushing for a clear date to be set.
“The transition is part of the deal and it can be resolved in half an hour.
“The focus is on the economy,” Anwar told reporters after speaking at Help University’s symposium on “The Construct of A Nation: As I See it” at the Connexion Conference and Event Centre in Bangsar South this afternoon.
Pressed if there were specific dates being looked at for the transition, Anwar curtly said “we will discuss”, without elaborating.
Anwar also reiterated Dr Mahathir’s promise to hand over the prime ministership after the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in November, and urged Malaysians to be patient until then.
“We will deal with this and I don’t think anyone should be put under pressure, whether me or Tun Mahathir.
“I reiterated that he should be given latitude because both of us and the PH council have decided that the change will be smooth, peaceful and orderly and still continue to work as a team,” Anwar said.
In his speech during the symposium, Anwar also spoke on the need for PH to be focused and deliver clear guidelines to boost Malaysia’s economic growth.
He said that only a thriving economy would allow the government to fulfil its initiatives and promises that would benefit all Malaysians.
Anwar said Malaysia’s gross domestic product percentage of 4.6 was “disconcerting”, and that measures must be taken to ride the wave of uncertainty, especially in the wake of the global outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
“This quarter, it’s expected to go lower because of the virus, affecting mainly tourism and some other related industries.
“That is why I think for Pakatan Harapan, as the government, they must remain strong and clear with their policies,” he said.
Anwar gave an assurance that when he becomes prime minister, his policies would be similar to that of Dr Mahathir as they were the collective decision of PH.
The Port Dickson MP played down public dissatisfaction with the ruling coalition, claimed most people were unhappy not because they disagreed with specific policies, but were disillusioned with the level of commitment in the implementation as shown by some government leaders.
“We are not questioning the policies, we are questioning the fact that we are not that committed in seriously implementing these policies.
“So my task is, therefore, to ensure that when I assume office, I will continue to create this nation as a mature democracy, with rule of law, and assuring the vast majority of the Malays that you will be secure.
“Any government, and particularly my government, will undertake all measures possible to ensure the issues of poverty and inequality, and equal opportunities is given,” he said.