KUALA LUMPUR: Whatever “enmity or turbulent relationship” he has with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, real or imagined, should be put to a stop, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
In a television interview broadcast in Indonesia, the Prime Minister emphasised that all quarters should accept the fact that the people had given him the mandate to lead the government.
Adding that his focus at the moment is to do his job, Anwar said he refused to entertain the rants of the veteran statesman.
“The people have chosen and given me their mandate to do the job. I am focusing on that … but I also don’t want this to be perceived as a never-ending enmity,” he said on CNBC Indonesia TV’s Nation Hub: A Special Interview with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Friday.
Anwar said this in response to the question on his relationship with the former prime minister, especially after he was appointed as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister on Nov 24.
The interview, conducted in a mix of Bahasa Indonesia and Malay, was recorded during Anwar’s two-day visit to Indonesia last weekend.
Meanwhile, when asked about the political atmosphere in Malaysia, Anwar admitted that it was different from Indonesia, because the “political hostility” in Malaysia had been described as being “very divisive”, which could be attributed to the legacy of Dr Mahathir’s leadership style.
“Whoever does not support him is considered an enemy … and this situation has continued until now.
“But at least we acted quickly by thinking about the country, the future and political stability, and so we succeeded in forming a coalition that is committed to good governance and rejecting corruption, and this principle has been agreed upon.
“I hope our Opposition will not continue to ‘sharpen’ the political hostility, and I have also asked them to refrain from issuing statements that incriminate or label people as infidels. If this can be alleviated, we can have a better dialogue,” he said.
Regarding the people’s criticism of the government, especially among the youth, Anwar said the people could not be blamed and that it was a challenge because the people would always evaluate the performance of his Cabinet.
“For example, I see the tone of young people now and last month; it’s very different … it means they adopt an open attitude and are not constrained by stagnant or conservative thinking, and they also judge us,” he said. — Bernama