PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has defended his move to talk about the country’s internal issues – including corruption – during his visits abroad.
According to Anwar, he was merely telling the truth that the country was struggling with certain problems and that he was making the effort to correct the situation.
“Some people said I was criticising Malaysia abroad…but this is a fact, and whether I am in Jakarta (Indonesia) or Thailand, I will say it as such,” he said during Minister’s Question Time (MQT) in Dewan Rakyat today (Feb 21).
“Why should I say that Malaysia is 100% clean as it would make me sound like a liar. I am just explaining the real situation and we are taking action to rectify these problems.”
The Tambun MP said this in response to a supplementary question by Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari on whether the Malaysia Madani concept introduced by the prime minister would be affected due to the appointment of those considered corrupted, into the Cabinet.
He also defended Zahid’s appointment when he questioned Ahmad Fadhli back whether those from PN who were also facing charges should quit the political party.
“It’s like asking if other members of parliament who have court cases should also resign from all positions. My answer will be no and this is my stance on this case.”
On Zahid’s case, the prime minister further stressed that he did not want to interfere with the judiciary, which should remain free and independent.
“Action cannot be taken before the court’s judgement and this was also mentioned before by Marang member of parliament (Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang),” he asserted.
“In this case, what I did was inform the Attorney General (AG) and the Chief Justice (CJ) that Malaysia must stand up to the principles of the country. I do not want to punish before the courts, the court process should be transparent and independent.”
Anwar further revealed that his deputy had always obeyed the principles and policies under the unity government, including rejecting several tenders presented by government-linked corporations (GLCs) under him.
“There was a case where a GLC under him proposed several tenders with immediate action. However, he stated that the prime minister’s order must be followed by the Cabinet,” he pointed out.
“This is the first time I am revealing this and therefore, I can assure you that it will not affect the Malaysian Madani principle and policy that I outlined.”
He also gave assurance that investigations linked to corruption, embezzlement and power abuse will be investigated even if it is from within his own party, PKR.
“I cannot assure that 100% [of those] in my party are clean as how those on the other side (PN) claimed to be but were proven wrong,” he remarked.
“I don’t want to apologise and there is no personal relationship here even though I know I am condemned by some who claimed I am finding faults. Even if it is within PKR, my instructions were clear and relevant bodies must take action.” – Feb 21, 2023
Main pic credit: Bernama