Experts say, “Let not history repeat itself in Malaysian Politics”
Sydney, Australia, June 2, 2018
Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim has urged active participation of all Malaysians in critical monitoring of the newly elected government and has called for reducing the economic gap between rich and poor in the country.
He was speaking at the Iftar Perdana being held at Nurul Hidaya Mosque at Kampung Pandan Kalam on Sunday, May 27, 2018. The event was attended by his wife and Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah and other Malaysian leaders.
“The wealthy are overflowing with riches, and it is different with low-income people, who are further burdened with taxes and price increases,” Anwar said.
The Spirit of Ramadan
In keeping with the spirit of Ramadan, he called on the government to champion the lot of poor and orphans and ensure that the country’s future and the interests of its people were looked after.
The Malaysian opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Dr Wan Azizah were voted into power in a surprise election victory on Wednesday May 9, 2018 winning 121 seats out of a total of 222.
Dr Mahathir (92) was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Malaysia and Dr Wan Azizah as the Deputy Prime Minister. As agreed between the two leaders, Dr Mahathir was instrumental in obtaining a swift full pardon for Anwar who was released from Jail mid-May.
Dr Mahathir has promised that in accordance with the agreement he will step aside within two years paving for Anwar to take over the Prime Minister’s position after he is interned into the parliament through a by-election.
Muslims welcome outcome
The outcome of the Malaysian election was welcomed in global Islamic circles as well as in Australia.
Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad, a Sydney based veteran Islamic leader with close contacts in Malaysia and a long-time colleague and mentor of Anwar Ibrahim welcomed the new development in Malaysia.
“The credit for this great outcome must be given to Dr Mahathir and the Anwar camp, led by his wife, Dr Wan Azizah who set their egos aside and reconciled in order to safeguard the interest of all Malaysians,” he said.
Advice to Mahathir
Dr Ahmad, 88, however, had some words of warning for Dr Mahathir.
“We hope that at the age of 92, Dr Mahathir will show wisdom and not repeat the mistakes of the past regarding Anwar, and as he has promised, transfer the leadership to Anwar as soon as possible.”
Dr Daud Batchelor, AMUST columnist from Brisbane wrote, “It is surely a wonderful, epic, ground-breaking event with great benefit for Malaysia and especially the Malays themselves.”
Ms Gulhan Eryegit Yoldas, journalist and community leader based in Melbourne said, “We celebrate with the Malaysian people, confident that this new government will be committed to the rule of law, to social justice and equality and work with integrity for the best outcomes for Malaysia.”
Malaysia on the move
AMUST columnist, Bilal Cleland, also from Melbourne, said, “The new government of Malaysia comes to power with a world of positive support, both inside and outside the country. Malaysia is finally on the move to realise an inclusive and vibrant 2020, different from what has gone before.”
Dr Hussin Mutalib, a former professor of political science from Singapore said, “The results indicate very clearly that Malaysians of all walks of life were fed up with status quo and wanted change. Many still have reservations about Mahathir and his volte face with his friend-turned foe Anwar Ibrahim, but their utter disgust for Najib and the prevalent culture of collusion, corruption and nepotism, made them willing to give the Mahathir-Anwar leadership a second chance.”
Rule of Law imperative
Professor Jamil Farooqui from India, who spent 25 years in Malaysia teaching Sociology at the International Islamic University (IIU) said, “Now that there has been a drastic change in Malaysian politics with the opposition given a strong mandate by people, the new leadership should show good governance by implementing rule of law, equality for all its citizens and getting rid of corruption as a showcase for other Muslim countries to emulate.”
Professor Mumtaz Ali from IIU, Kuala Lumpur said, “The recently held Election was fought under the leadership of Dr Tun Mahatir but Sri Anwar Ibrahim’s political party played a big role in the victory of the opposition. His party won altogether 100 seats out of 113. Anwar in fact created a history. Fighting from prison in the past two elections and also in the current election manifested his courage and confidence for justice. Finally, he himself will enjoy justice and also I hope will guarantee justice to everyone.”
Zia Ahmad is the Managing Editor of ‘Australasian Muslim Times,’ a weekly newspaper published from Sydney. The above article and the photograph, which appeared in the May 30, 2018 issue of the publication has been reproduced here with the permission of Mr Zia Ahmad.
Dr Mahathir Mohamed, Dr Wan Azizah Anwar Ibrahim
(Photo Courtesy: The Australasian Muslim Times)