Anwar: Perikatan’s lopsided policies, deal-making to maintain status quo could come at the expense of Malaysia’s dignity

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks at the Temu Anwar session at Flamingo hotel in Ampang, April 1, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks at the Temu Anwar session at Flamingo hotel in Ampang, April 1, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim again ripped into the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration this time warning them that introducing lopsided policies and cutting deals aimed at prolonging their status quo could come at the expense of the country’s sovereignty and diplomatic standing. 

Anwar said the pace of mistakes and missteps being committed by those in the PN government was steadily increasing, a worrying situation only exacerbated by the absence of scrutiny and oversight by lawmakers in Parliament. 

Again harping on Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s ‘big brother’ remark to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, Anwar said Hishammuddin’s subsequent comments defending his statement only showed the PN Cabinet’s lackadaisical understanding of diplomacy, strategy, regional politics and China itself. 

“The Foreign Minister’s ‘elder brother’ comment on Friday may have set Malaysia’s China foreign policy back 25 years and undermined decades of hard work of seasoned Malaysian officers in Wisma Putra. 

“It signals to the international community that Malaysia’s orientation as a neutral nation is changing under the PN government,” Anwar wrote in a statement posted on his Facebook page this morning. 

This after Hishammuddin was reported to have told Wang that China and Malaysia are brothers and that China would always be Malaysia’s elder brother.

The remark was apparently made during Hishammuddin’s recent visit to China as part of the republic’s efforts to reach out to the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) in resolving the ongoing political crisis in Myanmar.

In his defence, Hishammuddin had said he used the ‘big brother’ term as a sign of respect towards Wang as an older and more senior counterpart and stressed that it was not a sign of weakness and submission of Malaysia towards China.

The PKR President today then trained his guns at Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin when he said the latter’s lack of Parliamentary majority has become a fact known globally, and that being in such a weak position only opened Muhyiddin’s administration up to opportunities of corruption. 

“Much of the world is aware that the PN government lacks a parliamentary majority. Our allies and adversaries alike, be they officials of state or corporations and businesses, may attempt to use PN’s weakness as an opportunity to extract benefits in their engagements with Malaysia. 

“This could be done to the detriment of Malaysia’s diplomatic standing, her economy and the well-being of her people,” he said. 

The Port Dickson MP further admonished Muhyiddin by pointing out that under the Westminster system, a prime minister who has lost the majority confidence is duty-bound to step down and resign. 

“Instead we have a prime minister hiding behind the Emergency declaration and cutting deals left and right to cling to power.

“Given PN’s shaky position we are concerned that policy decisions are being made that would be beneficial to prolonging PN’s grip on power, potentially at the expense of our national interests, national security and sovereignty,” he added. 

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