Pakatan Harapan (PH) allies and supporters believe the ruling coalition can regain public confidence after its recent by-election defeat if Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad passes the baton to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim without further delay.
Otai Reformis ‘98 chairman Idris Ahmad said many Malaysians have become disillusioned with the way things are going in the country since PH became government after winning the 14th general election last year.
“We wanted to bring down the old government, and in so doing carry out the agenda of reform within the government. But are we satisfied after one and a half years of power?” he asked the audience of 500 attending the Konvensyen Reformasi 2019 here.
He then challenged the audience to name one thing that the PH coalition has accomplished that would make Malaysians proud.
“As Malaysians, we should aim for healthy, comfortable, safe and prosperous lives. To do so we can only hope the government will at least fulfil 10% of its promises.
“Yet there are some who have forgotten the reformasi agenda. They forget that without justice, nothing can be done. Therefore, Datuk Seri Anwar ought to be elevated as the next prime minister, so that we can continue this struggle,” Idris said.
In his turn, Selangor state executive councillor from DAP V. Ganabatirau spoke of Anwar’s appeal to all races and unite them.
“There have never been any issues under his leadership, even as we see the current Opposition playing on racial issues. Anwar has always considered everyone as his own children, be they Malay, Chinese, Indian, Orang Asli, Sabahan or Sarawakian.
“Anwar once said in an interview with the international press that it is useless to call Malaysia a developed country if its races cannot get along, hence why he represents a great hope for us all,” he said.
His fellow DAP state lawmaker Ronnie Liu recounted thinking of Anwar as a formidable opponent in the 1980s when they were on opposite sides of politics.
“He was with Umno in those days, but even then, he was already reform-minded. As long as he was around, many of us felt BN would be very hard to defeat.
“However, when 1998 came around and he was sacked, it presented a new chance for the country. Without asking for permission from DAP leaders, I joined the reformasi movement on my own accord,” the DAP central executive committee member said.
Noting that at first not many Chinese and Indians participated in the demonstrations against Anwar’s imprisonment, Liu said things changed when Anwar’s wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail joined their ranks.
“His skill in bringing everyone of all races together cannot be underestimated. Anwar stands as an icon of reform, democracy and muhibbah.
“Therefore, I urge the prime minister to make Anwar his successor as soon as possible. A gentleman’s agreement is still an agreement nonetheless. DAP stands fully behind Anwar as the nation’s eighth prime minister,” Liu said.