Anwar, failure as PM

by Dr. P Ramasamy

Anwar Ibrahim is a failure as prime minister. For all the bravado about far-reaching reforms and changes, he is nothing but a weak leader.

While he plays to the ethnic and religious gallery of the Malays, he has proven to be a poor administrator of the country.

Before he was swept to power, he promised an unceasing war against corruption. However, once in power, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) of the corruption case involving millions of ringgit from Yayasan Akalbudi.

The whole world demanded an explanation, even as the government tried to hide the “pumpkin under a heap of cooked rice”, as the Tamil proverb goes.

Not long afterwards, former Umno president Najib Razak, who is still languishing in prison for corruption and money laundering, was given the reprieve of a reduced sentence by the Pardons Board chaired by the former King.

Yet, despite these contradictions, Anwar went after opposition leaders for allegations of corruption and money laundering.

Najib Razak

While the corrupt who bled the nation were left off the hook, why the relentless drive against opposition leaders? Isn’t this a case of selective prosecution on the part of the Madani government?

When Anwar was in Germany recently for an investment trip, he lamented the fact that while he was away, Malaysians had the proclivity to engage in petty matters. However, once he was back, he could not even manage the Sock-gate that erupted.

Umno might be part of the coalition government, but unfortunately, Anwar lacked the courage and vision to control recalcitrant politicians like Umno Youth’s leader Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh.

Apart from his feeble calls for the reduction of racial and religious tensions, he was not at the forefront of managing the tensions.

It was under these circumstances of rudderless leadership, that the present King took the initiative to meet with the parties concerned to calm the situation.

Where was Anwar?

The question is: where was Anwar when the nation was gripped by racial and religious tensions?

Why was he reluctant or scared to tell Akmal off?

What would former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad have done if he had been the prime minister?

Whatever one can say about Mahathir, unlike the populist Anwar, he would have taken control of the events to manage them.

The Sock-gate incident will go down in history as one of the greatest failures of Anwar.

The country needs an effective leader in the form of a prime minister. He has been in office for slightly more than a year, sorry to say, that his leadership has been a failure.

Yet, some political sycophants are going around saying he should be given a second term.

Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh

Anwar has more than three years to go. However, if he cannot manage the country in the first year, how is going to manage the remainder of his term?

He came to power based on bringing about much-needed reforms and changes. Unfortunately, we hear the rhetoric of reforms now and then, but then reforms, for all intents and purposes, are dead.

Regrettably, he is not in it for reforms but to re-entrench the existence of ethnic and religious divides.

For Anwar, despite his engagement in philosophy, political expediency to stay in power is the hallmark of the present regime.

This is why I believe that the search for a political alternative must continue rigorously.

The Pakatan Harapan-led government is a big disappointment to Malaysians.

The Harapan-led government should be replaced, the sooner the better.

(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)

This article was first published in Malaysiakini on 13 April 2024. The link is here.

Reproduced with the author’s permission

P RAMASAMY is a former Penang deputy chief minister II.

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