Now it is Anwar’s U-turn, this time on reforms

PRIME Minister and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the government must not be too hasty in executing its reform policy or else it risks being rejected by the people.For analysts, after former premier Tan Sri Muhyiddin’s U-turn on his position as Bersatu leader, Anwar’s U-turn on promised reforms risks dashing hope in politicians.During the PKR congress in Putrajaya, Anwar cautioned the government to heed lessons from past errors, specifically citing the hurried recognition of international conventions like the Rome Statute during Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) initial term in 2018.

According to Anwar, certain coalition “elites” advocated for ratification without broader consultations, leading to adverse consequences.“Were there discussions in the Cabinet? Did MPs discuss this? Did they engage with the people? No,” Anwar asked about the 2018–2020 PH regime.“It was forced, it caused unrest among those who did not understand it and it was exploited by the opposition. If we rush, whether in implementing Islam or this reform agenda, we will be rejected by the people.”The rush to push for some international conventions caused the then opposition composed of PAS and UMNO to rally in the streets against the PH government then headed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.Anwar also said Putrajaya would strive to take a “moderate” approach to implementing its plans that considered the interests of all parties.Previously, critics had urged the prime minister to shift his focus towards repairing the economy and his reform agenda as his government marked its first year in power.The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) expressed dissatisfaction with the unity government’s performance after a year.The Steering Committee emphasised that the collaboration between PH and Barisan Nasional (BN) in forming a federal government post the 15th General Election should not excuse them from fulfilling their individual election manifesto commitments.Despite acknowledging commendable progress, Bersih urged the unity government to promptly address overlapping election pledges between PH and BN. – Nov 26, 2023

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