PUTRAJAYA, Dec 11 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today questions that were posed to him at yesterday’s celebration of his government’s one-year anniversary were unvetted amid claims the event was staged to prop up the ruling coalition.
The Tambun MP suggested some of the issues that were raised by the audience who attended the closing ceremony where he took questions from the floor yesterday were critical of his administration, and this showed he was open to criticism.
Anwar raised the matter at this morning’s monthly meeting with staff of the Prime Minister’s Department here, ostensibly as part of his message to encourage the civil service to embrace public feedback.
“As I have proposed from the start, we need to have a culture that provides space for criticism and feedback be it in politics or the civil service,” he said.
“For example, yesterday, that (the event) was not something that Zahid planned. When I was there and took questions, they were unvetted and I think this is a good culture in which democracy is made more meaningful,” the prime minister added.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was present at this morning’s assembly.
Anwar’s so-called “unity government” held a three-day celebration in a first of such programmes to showcase what it has achieved last week, which government officials hailed as successful based on the turnout.
Some 230,000 visitors came to visit booths set up by all ministries at the grounds of Bukit Jalil National Stadium here, according to official estimates.
Whether the event was genuinely effective in explaining all government policies to the wider public remains to be seen.
Anwar’s popular rating dipped to just 50 per cent according to a poll by Merdeka Center released last month, tumbling from a high of 68 per cent a year ago when he first took office.