JUNE 22 ― Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is proving to have a deft touch in navigating the strained US-China relationship, courting investments from both countries. He is doing so to both international acclaim and consternation.

Whilst some international commentators see this as a clever play on his part, others are disappointed that he is not choosing one side over the other.

A lot of criticism is stemming from the West, where the western influenced media would point to reasons as to why Anwar should not cozy up to China.


The real reason for the angst of the West is that the rise of China and India is now serving a real threat to the neoliberal and neo-imperialist Western agenda.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with Premier Li Qiang. — Bernama pic
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with Premier Li Qiang. — Bernama pic

The visit of China’s Premier, Li Qiang, has ruffled some feathers as is evident through reports and opinions of the Western media.


Anwar is right in doing what is right for Malaysia, and not be led by any particular dogma or partisan interest. What works best for Malaysia and her people is what the government should focus on.

The biggest challenge for the prime minister is that the unity government which he helms is not entirely running in the same direction as he is.

The balanced social, political and economic agenda which he aspired for is being thwarted by communal and big-business interests. Political parties within his government, such as the Barisan Nasional and even the DAP are largely communal based parties.

The shift towards a more dynamic, prosperous and equitable Malaysia can only be achieved if we truly dismantle the type of politics that has divided Malaysia along racial and religious lines.

Big business has seen to it that Malaysians are divided into two halves economically ― with a small minority seeing their wealth expand exponentially and a growing number of people finding it difficult to eke out a decent living.

Pro-business and anti-labour policies, through the lobby of big business in the country, has been the norm. Little has been achieved by the Madani government to correct this imbalance. Ministries such as the Ministry of Human Resources have only accentuated the divide between the rich and poor in the country.

The prime minister is on the right trajectory strategically, and he now needs his government to line up behind him.

* Callistus Antony D’Angelus is the International Labour Adviser of Social Protection Contributors’ Advisory Association Malaysia (SPCAAM)

* This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.