Anwar says Unity Gov’t parties have rejected backdoor political manoeuvres

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 26:  The political parties that form the Unity Government have firmly rejected all attempts by the opposition to pinch support (menebuk atap) in efforts to topple the current government, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said. 

Anwar, who is also PKR president, said, on the other hand, the political party leaders remain steadfast in the principles and good governance they have upheld for the past year.

“A year has passed. In the early stages, in the first few months, there was a bit of uncertainty because there were always attempts to pry, peek and press in a repeat of ‘tebuk atap’ (backdoor manoeuvering) practice… the loyalty of our friends was tested. 

“Tonight, I am expressing my appreciation because despite their loyalty and solidarity being tested, including with offers of becoming prime minister, they remain our partners,” he said at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) here last night when delivering his policy speech at the PKR Annual Congress 2023. It was attended by 2,734 delegates and 1,500 observers, as well as Unity Government party leaders and representatives of foreign diplomatic missions. 

Anwar said he appreciated the fact that leaders of component parties in the Unity Government and the Cabinet have stayed loyal to ensure the current government would remain inclusive and represent all races and regions.

“Various predictions and allegations have been made. I wish to stress again that during the early negotiations (on Unity Government), the emphasis was on the principles and direction of the country, good governance, fighting corruption and driving economic growth.

“This is a matter of policy and I thank our partners for staying true to this principle,” he said.

Anwar, who is also Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman, said the Unity Government would not be hasty in implementing the reform agenda because it drew lessons from world history and PH’s experience in 2018.

“Elite groups may say we are making slow progress in reforms but believe me, we are learning from past experience. If we are hasty, whether on implementation of Islamic matters or this reform agenda, we will be rejected by the people,” he said.

The prime minister said the government needs to be prudent and wise in assessing its capabilities and the acceptance of the majority of the people because not all of the country’s problems can be solved within a year.

Anwar was sworn in as the 10th Prime Minister on Nov 24 last year.

He also stressed that the Unity Government will not allow the country to be divided in the name of religion and race, and will not compromise with those who play up racial issues, including meritocracy, as the Unity Government is committed to safeguarding the welfare of all races.

Also present at the congress were Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, Amanah president Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) chairman Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor and Gabungan Parti Sarawak secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.

The two-day congress, which began yesterday, carried the theme “Memaknai Reformasi, Menjulang MADANI” (Fulfilling Reforms, Upholding MADANI).