'I’ll be a leader for all Malaysians': Anwar delivers message of unity in Perak ahead of Nomination Day
TAMBUN, Perak: Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Anwar Ibrahim delivered a message of unity and multiracial harmony on Friday (Nov 4) in Tambun, where he is set to contest for a parliamentary seat in the upcoming general election.
“If I become a leader, I will be a leader for all Malaysians,” Mr Anwar told the cheering crowd of supporters during his visit to an Indian-Malaysian community in the constituency.
They gave him a warm welcome, with music and firecrackers outside a local restaurant in Tambun amid the rain.
The 75-year-old politician is leading PH in its fight to form a new government when Malaysians go to the polls on Nov 19. Nomination Day will take place on Saturday morning.
“We have to bring in new politics, respect and accept people from different races as our citizens,” he said.
In his speech on Friday, Mr Anwar made references to the ruling parties and vowed to be different.
“I want support from the Malays, the Chinese, the Indians and indigenous people because this is Malaysia. I don’t want to be like political parties such as PAS (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia), Bersatu (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) or UMNO (United Malays National Organisation). They play up racial sentiments. I do not,” said Mr Anwar.
PAS is an Islamist party while Bersatu and UMNO are Malay nationalist political organisations.
The three are part of the incumbent government, which operates under two coalitions, namely Barisan Nasional (BN) and Perikatan Nasional (PN).
The latter was established in 2020 when Bersatu and several members of parliament from Mr Anwar’s party - Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) – defected from PH to form a new coalition with PAS. The incident is commonly known as the Sheraton Move.
The upcoming election will see the three major coalitions fighting to capture the federal seat of government in Putrajaya.
For PH, which won the previous polls in 2018, its fight against the two ruling coalitions could be an uphill battle.
In Tambun, Anwar will compete for the parliamentary seat against Mr Ahmad Faizal Azumu from PN and Mr Aminuddin Hanafiah from BN, according to the latest announcements by the coalitions.
The seat is currently held by Mr Ahmad Faizal, whose party Bersatu defected from PH during the Sheraton Move.
The move resulted in the collapse of the PH government, then led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad, after being in power for 22 months.
“We’ll build this country as a team, a full team, a team that loves and helps each other,” said Mr Anwar on Friday.
“I want to make sure that when we form a government on Nov 20, this government will be different from others.”
When asked if he can ensure that the Democratic Action Party (DAP) would not dominate a PH-led government, Mr Anwar replied: "I said two things. I want to answer. First, the one who is going to be the leader on Nov 20, God willing, if we win, is not Mahathir, but Anwar Ibrahim.
“Second, this government, its prime minister is Malay and the king is a Malay."
DAP, a Chinese-dominated party, is one of the component parties under PH.