Don’t punish those influenced by racial sentiments: PM Anwar

Anwar said the rise in support for right-wing ideologies is not something surprising in Malaysia, as it is a global phenomenon.


File photo of PM Anwar Ibrahim. PHOTO: THE STAR

August 18, 2023

KUALA LUMPUR – Malays and youths should not be blamed for being influenced by racial and religious sentiments during the recently-concluded state polls, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar said the rise in support for right-wing ideologies is not something surprising in Malaysia, as it is a global phenomenon.

He said that western countries have seen a rise in fascism.

“I disagree with the impromptu assumption that tries to blame and punish youths who might have been misled (by political parties),” said Anwar.

It is not something out of the ordinary. In Europe, despite advancements in technology and education, they are still seeing a rise in fascism and neo-Nazi beliefs,” he added.

Anwar also said that support for right-wing ideologies is increasing in the US, where it is called the Christian right.

Speaking after officiating a ground-breaking ceremony at Sungai Besi on Thursday (Aug 17), Anwar said that leaders in the unity government should address the matter by being closer to Malaysians using their wisdom and confidence.

“I said at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday (Aug 16) that we should carry out our duties with sincerity, as it is impossible to be rejected due to sincerity and an attitude being against corruption,” added Anwar.

Anwar also said it takes time for Malay voters to be wooed by the unity government’s Madani concept.

“It is the responsibility of our machinery and leadership to work harder to realise this policy (Madani),” added Anwar.

Madani is an acronym for a policy that embraces six core values – keMampanan (Sustainability), KesejAhteraan (Prosperity), Daya Cipta (Innovation), hormAt (Respect), keyakiNan (Trust) and Ihsan (Compassion).

On Tuesday, Umno’s Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamad said Malay youths lacked the basic knowledge to understand politics and current issues.

Nur Jazlan said Umno should be rebranded into a more practical, realistic and inclusive party for all.

Meanwhile, Anwar also appeared unfazed over calls of resignation by Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin over the unity government’s performance in the state polls.

“We maintained our victory and we still have two-thirds of the seats in Parliament. I advise him to focus on his court cases,” added Anwar.

On Sunday, Muhyiddin asked Anwar and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to resign from their respective government positions due to the outcome of the recent state polls.

The state polls on Aug 12 saw Perikatan making a clean sweep of 32 state seats in Terengganu, 43 out of 45 state seats in Kelantan, and 33 seats in Kedah.

Pakatan and Barisan Nasional managed to win 29 out of 40 seats in Penang, 34 seats in Selangor, and 31 seats in Negri Sembilan.

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