What Malaysia needs now is clarity and transparency, not ‘sea of contradictions’, Anwar tells PM Muhyiddin

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to reporters after meeting with the Pakatan Harapan presidential council in Petaling Jaya January 12, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks to reporters after meeting with the Pakatan Harapan presidential council in Petaling Jaya January 12, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today lambasted the government for not providing clear leadership and a detailed action plan to address the worsening Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

In a lengthy Facebook post today, Anwar also criticised the “minority” Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration under the leadership of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for not providing transparency and assurances to the Malaysian public in a time of crisis.

“The unity offered through collective suffering is not enough to bring a nation back from a crisis of this magnitude. A new unity must arise from strong leadership, effective governance and a people who seek truth in their government, in the spirit of democracy, and in each other.

“In times of crisis, people need transparency and reassurance, not what this minority government gives them. Not these sporadically planned announcements that give no clarity, no planning, and no sympathy for the people’s needs.

“Instead, they incite panic as clouds gather. Muhyiddin has plunged this country into a sea of contradictions. MCO is becoming an annual exercise in futility, robbed of the meaning that gives life to tradition, leaving only the shell of a custom that produces no results. What was once called conditional, looks more and more permanent. The recovery was anything but,” he said.

Despite asking the people to make sacrifices, Anwar said the government also had not provided any clarity on its efforts to combat Covid-19 and described the state of Emergency declaration by Muhyiddin as “reckless and desperate”.

“The government should be offering a consistent, detailed plan. A plan that calls for action, holds itself to milestones and goals. When we all see ourselves as stakeholders in building our future, then we hold each other accountable and this is the beautiful spirit of democracy brought to life. While the present government waits for change to come to it, the strategy needs to be effecting change today so that tomorrow may be better.

“The present government asks us all to sacrifice, for we are all in this together, yet the government gives no evidence that it suffers along with the people, that it actually stands with the rakyat.

“With each passing day, the restoration of this trust gains a new hurdle under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhyiddin. This reckless and desperate declaration of Emergency, devoid of rational basis, places a chasm between the people and their government.

“Where the fear of the blurring line between democracy and dictatorship is upheld by Muhyiddin’s appeal to ‘trust him’?”

“A trust that withers by the day with each MP withdrawing their support. Can trust even be appealed to as it has become obvious that this Emergency has less to do with combating the pandemic than clinging to power that, we must remember, was attained through an illegitimate backdoor government?

“Are we to trust the words of an individual who betrayed his prime minister, his party (and by extension his coalition), and most criminally the trust and mandate of the rakyat?” said Anwar.

Anwar then reiterated that he will be submitting a petition to the Agong on Muhyiddin’s “baseless” justification for a state of Emergency and has prompted his legal team to challenge the prime minister over the announcement.

“We have to keep ourselves healthy to relieve the burden on our healthcare system and the true heroes that keep it afloat against insurmountable pressure. Random acts of kindness are the easiest and most effective demonstrations of our unified commitment towards actual solutions and a better tomorrow.

“I implore us all to do your part and for our government to seek the restoration of trust that has tragically waned in the past months since this virus befell us. For the people are suffering. But we must not lose hope that our sacrifices will pay off soon enough. We must not pass over the lessons to be taken from this past year, but work to constantly improve ourselves and each other,” he said.

*Note: A previous edition of the story contained an error which has since been corrected.

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