Kudos to PMX for ushering in first anniversary in office but how about the next 3 months?

DATUK SERI Anwar Ibrahim has signed off his one-year anniversary as the Prime Minister (PM) by declaring that both the unity government and him have tried their best. He then added that his reign is politically stable and that he hopes there will be no disturbances in the next four years and resolved to improve in the coming years.

I don’t know about the next four years. I am more interested in seeing whether his government will make it pass the next three months.

I hate to sound superstitious but since incarcerated former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak was toppled in 2018, I have noticed that all the governments in Malaysia have been cursed with a shorter and shorter lifespan.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad only lasted 22 months. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin only made it to 17 months. Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is the shortest serving PM in the country with 15 months under his belt.

Considering such record, I am interested to see if Anwar is able to beat Ismail Sabri. If Anwar can break Ismail Sabri’s record and survive another three more months, then I will believe that the curse on the government of Malaysia has been broken and Anwar’s reign will complete the full five-year term.

Other than surviving the next three months, I hope that Anwar will also try to bolster the longevity of his government by actually achieving something that is worth achieving.

Don’t be an empty can

Saying that you have tried your best is not just a matter of empty words. It is about setting objectives, coming out with a feasible plan and committing yourself to the necessary exercises and practices to achieve your goals.

If you want to start your own business in five years – and you need RM500,000 to do so but you are starting off with zero sen in your bank account today – you should come up with a plan to save an average of RM10,000 every month for the next 60 months.

This is a good plan because even if you fail to save anything for 10 months, you will still meet your target. After you have that plan – rain or shine – you are going to have to commit to following that plan.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim addressing a crowd at a thanksgiving celebration in Putrajaya to commemorate the first anniversary of the unity government’s establishment

If in between something untoward happens like if you became the victim of a scam and lost RM200,000 – and thus you could just manage to save RM400,000 – you had to scale down on your goal and perhaps embark on a smaller business instead.

If you have no goal, no plan, no commitments, no exercises but you merely say that you have tried your best, you are just an empty can. You might wish for a lot of things and express your wishes out loudly but they are just the empty words of an impotent person. It means nothing because you are incapable of changing anything.

Clear sight at goal needed

If you ask anybody on the street what Anwar has achieved in the last 12 months, the best answer you will receive is: “give him more time. He just had one year”.

The worst answer that you will receive is that the only thing Anwar has achieved is saving Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi from jail and getting Syed Saddiq Syed whipped for leaving the unity government.

Some of you might be thinking: “Wait a minute. Syed Saddiq is not going to be whipped because he left the unity government but he is going to be whipped because he embezzled money” or that “Zahid was not freed from his charges by Anwar but by the courts and the Attorney-General’s Chamber (AGCC)”. Officially, you would be right.

But the official narrative and popular opinion are not always in sync and this is where the unity government should be concerned about. Judging from the degree that the popular opinion diverges from the official narrative, the government is not safe regardless of how many opposition MPs that it has managed to sway to its side.

Independent pollster Merdeka Centre has come out a couple of days ago to say that Anwar’s personal approval rating is just standing at 50%.

Just in February this year, his approval rating was at 68%. If even with a 68% approval rating, Anwar lost decisively to Perikatan Nasional (PN) in three states and saw PN making inroads in another three states in the Aug 12 state elections, imagine what kind of problem he can expect in 2024 now that his approval rating has slid by 18%.

To Anwar, all I got to say is have a goal. Aim for something. What are you focusing on? Is it the economy? Is it reforms? Is it national unity? What?

Doing a Jack Sparrow and “making things up as you go along” or doing a “Jack-of-all-trades, master of none” act is all fine and well if you indulge in it every now and then but if you keep doing it all year long, you are not being serious in wanting to reign for another four years. – Nov 24, 2023


Nehru Sathiamorthy is a roving tutor who loves politics, philosophy and psychology.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Pics credit: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Facebook

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