I am now more confident that the Anwar unity government can last five years to carry out institutional reforms in the country to reset Malaysia to become once again a first-rate world-class nation
After the first 100 days of the Anwar unity government, I am now more confident that the Anwar Ibrahim can last five years as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia to carry out institutional reforms in the country to reset Malaysia to become once again a first-rate world-class nation.
This is not only because of the success of the Anwar unity government, where after the first “Hundred Days”, the people are still hopeful that the Anwar unity government can reset and return to Malaysia’s original nation-building principles the nation’s founding fathers have written into the Malaysian Constitution and the Rukun Negara, but because the Parliamentary Opposition, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) had dismally failed the Hundred Days test.
Does the PN offer a better programme that will finally see Malaysia enjoy greater political stability to attract foreign investors to propel economic recovery and reform Malaysian institutions, ensure clean governance by putting anti-corruption as top of the government’s agenda to stop the country lurch towards a kleptocracy?
The answer is a loud and strong “NO”.
Let March 10 be the lowest point Malaysia will fall to – for on that day, two events shamed the country.
In Kuala Lumpur, a second former Prime Minister was charged in court for corruption and money-laundering, while at the other end of the world in New York, the former head of Goldman Sachs in Malaysia, banker Roger Ng, was sentence to 10 years jail after he was convicted of helping to loot billions of dollars from Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund.
The 1MDB scandal had landed one former Prime Minister in jail, but the lesson appeared not to have been learnt, for Malaysia continued to nose-dive in the annual Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI), losing out to Indonesia, China, India and more and more Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) countries in the fight against corruption.
PN leaders yelled “selective prosecution” for the prosecution of Muhyiddin Yassin for corruption but there is an extraordinary aspect of Muhyiddin’s corruption prosecution which had been missed by almost everyone – that the MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki and the Attotney-General Idrus Harun were first appointed to their posts by Muhyiddin himself.
This is an unusual case of the Prime Minister being prosecuted for corruption by the Attorney-General and the MACC Chief Commissioner he had appointed.
Would Azam Baki, who was appointed MACC Chief Commissioner on 9th March 2020 and Idrus Harun, who was appointed Attorney-General on 6th March by Muhyiddin when he became the first “backdoor” Prime Minister after the Sheraton Move political conspiracy in February 2020, agree to the “selective prosecution” of their benefactor?
Idrus Harun has rejected allegations that his agency engaged in selective prosecution and persecution, emphasising the impartiality of the Attorney General’s Chambers and all decisions to prosecute depended entirely on statements and evidence gathered, rather than pressure from any source.
He said: “Such decisions are made fairly based on investigations papers, without any bias, guided by the integrity of ensuring victims, witnesses, the accused, and the public obtain justice in accordance with the law, and in line with the AG’s powers under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution.”
PN leaders have made many costly mistakes in the first Hundred Days of the Anwar unity government.
Firstly, they have contributed nothing to ensuring that there is political stability in Malaysia, not only in fulfilling the Yang di Pertuan Agong’s wish that Anwar Ibrahim be the last Prime Minister to be sworn in before end of the five-year tenure of the 16th Yang di Pertuan Agong next January, but that the Anwar unity government can last five years;
Secondly, PN leaders have failed to support the efforts of the Anwar unity government to put anti-corruption top of the government’s good governance agenda.
Will PN leaders, for instance, support the Prime Minister’s appointment of the MP for Titiwangsa, former second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani as the chair of a special task force on 1MDB and the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee on the 1MDB scandal to advise Johari and specifically look into three issues — the Apandi, IPIC-Aabar, and the Goldman Sachs settlements, and whether they should be re-opened?
Thirdly, the costly mistakes made by PN leaders – a policy of confrontation with the Anwar unity government instead of a policy of co-operation to reset and return Malaysia to the original nation-building principles the nation’s founding fathers have written into the Constitution and the Rukun Negara –
constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy, separation of powers, rule of law, an independent judiciary, Islam as the official religion of the country and freedom of religion for all faiths, good governance, public integrity with minimum corruption, a clean and honest government, meritocracy, respect for human rights, an end to the various injustices and inequalities in the country, a world-class economic, educational, health and social system, and national unity, understanding and harmony from our multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious, and multi-cultural diversity.
A PN leader accused the Anwar unity government and the DAP of promoting Islamophobia but almost four months have elapsed, and he is still unable to offer an iota of evidence to substantiate his preposterous allegation.
Another PN leader warned that there will be a bigger “wave” than the “green wave” in the 15th general Election last year in the general election for six states of Penang, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu after June 2023, but I believe that the “green wave” last year was built on the foundation of the divisive and toxic politics of lies, falsehoods, fake news, race and religion.
Fourthly, singer Amir Jahari;s refusal to allow his song “Hasrat” to be used by Bersatu MP Mas Ermieyati Samsudin as the background song of a solidarity video for Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairperson Muhyiddin Yassin for being charged with corruption.
There must be a counter-narrative to attract the young of all races and religions to convince them that no race or religion in Malaysia is facing extinction or threat, that Malaysia does not want a war of races or religions. On the contrary, Malaysia has something to teach the world – how different races, religions and cultures could co-exist to build a greater future for all.