Nothing concrete yet from talks with PM, says Anwar

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Anwar Ibrahim says nothing substantial has surfaced yet in the coalition’s negotiations with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

In an interview with CNBC, the PKR president said Ismail had to enter into negotiations with the opposition because his majority support was going to be tested in Parliament.

“That’s why he entered into some form of negotiations with the opposition, nothing concrete as yet,” he told the American news outlet.

While he commended Ismail for being the first prime minister in a long time to reach across the aisle and initiate some form of negotiations with the opposition bloc, Anwar said they were left frustrated by his Cabinet line-up.

“To me, it was quite a disaster.

Anwar Ibrahim said Pakatan Harapan will see if the government is committed to the reforms it promised to support.

“You have (been) given 500 days and you can see the decline both in terms of handling Covid-19 and economic issues, and now you’re giving them another 100 days.

“But all that notwithstanding, the negotiations are continuing … We have to see whether they are committed to some of the reforms that they have promised to support,” said the opposition leader.

Anwar also maintained that there was a need to move from race-based politics to needs-based policies, saying the current setup did not benefit most Malays but just the “Malay elites”.

“But of course this is a new narrative in Malaysia, it takes a lot of effort. We’re not only dealing with the urban and suburban crowd, we have to penetrate the rural masses.”

Soon after he was sworn in as prime minister, Ismail and the top three PH leaders issued a rare joint statement, stating that they reached a consensus to strengthen the functions of Parliament as a check and balance on the executive.

The statement was signed by Ismail, Anwar, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu.

Meanwhile, a source had told FMT that institutional reforms, especially a ban on party-hopping, were at the heart of the consensus for a better Malaysia.


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