Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s declaration of war on elites in Malaysia mirrored the father of cronyism, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who ironically was very vocal in not tolerating cronyism and corruption.
Echoing the former prime minister, Anwar condemned rich elites who have benefitted from the practice and enriched themselves including those around them.
FYI, during Mahathir’s 22 years as prime minister, Malaysia’s economy grew as a result of a massive push in infrastructure and manufacturing, during which the nation built the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and a brand-new city for Putrajaya to serve as its administrative hub.
Critics charged that while it improved Malaysia’s standing internationally, it did so at the expense of cronyism, with Mahathir awarding the contracts to corporate moguls who are close to him, such Daim Zainuddin and Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary.
Last night, Anwar Ibrahim apparently declared war on the “elite minority who have used their power to enrich themselves and their clans”.
Speaking at a dinner for the Malaysian community in Indonesia, the country’s 10th premier said he would not budge on the matter even if it cost him his job.
“Malaysia must be free from the greed of the elite minority who have used their power to enrich themselves and their clans. I will not compromise at all although it will threaten my position,” he said, Bernama reported.
Anwar added that a retreat will take place the following week and that Cabinet ministers will discuss their progress reports and future plans.
Getting the ministers’ views after more than a month of work, he claimed, and presenting issues that may be carried out or improved upon are the goals of the retreat.
“After that, we will make an announcement about the KPI (key performance indicator) and the hopes of each minister and ministry,” he said at the Q&A session at the dinner.
Anwar said the main focus of his government would be to strengthen a sustainable economy by attracting investment and ensuring social justice.
In the wake of his surprising election triumph, a look at the tumultuous political career of the man many Malaysians are pinning their hopes for lasting reform on.
25 Nov 2022
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