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Ramasamy: Sock-gate incident epitomises Anwar’s limited success as Prime Minister

Publish date: Sat, 13 Apr 2024, 01:02 PM

FOR all the bravado about far reaching reforms and changes, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is nothing but a weak leader.

While he plays to the ethnic and religious gallery of the Malays, he has proven to be a poor administrator of the country.

Before he was swept to power, Anwar promised an unceasing war against corruption. However, once in power - due to political expediency and opportunism - he ensured the non-prosecution of UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Although he declared that such was the decision of the court of law, the whole world knew he tried to hide the “pumpkin under a heap of cooked rice” as a Tamil proverb can attest.

Not long later, Zahid’s predecessor Datuk Seri Najib Razak who is still languishing in prison for corruption and money laundering was given the reprieve of reduced sentence by the Pardons Board chaired by former Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

Amid these contradictions, Anwar went after the opposition leaders for allegations of corruption and money laundering.

While the corrupt who bled the nation was left off the hook, one wonders why then is the relentless drive against opposition leaders?  Isn’t this a case of selective prosecution on the part of the Madani government?

Weak management

When Anwar was in Germany recently for an investment trip, he lamented the fact that while he away, Malaysians had the proclivity to engage in petty matters. However, once he was back, he could not even manage the sock-gate controversy that erupted in the open.

UMNO might be part of the coalition government but unfortunately Anwar lacked the courage and vision to control the recalcitrant politician leader like UMNO youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh.

Apart from Anwar’s feeble calls for the reduction of racial and religious tensions, he was not in the forefront to manage the tensions.

It was under these circumstances of rudderless leadership that the present Agong took the initiative to meet with the parties concerned to calm the situation.

The question is where was Anwar when the nation was gripped by racial and religious tensions? Why was he reluctant or is he frighten to tell Akmal of?

What would have the twice former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had done under the same circumstances?

Whatever one can say about Dr Mahathir - unlike the populist Anwar - he would have taken control of the events to manage them. The sock-gate incident will go down in history as one of the greatest failures of Anwar.

Search for alternative

The country needs an effective PM. Sorry to say that although Anwar has only been in office for only slightly more than a year, his leadership has been a failure.

Yet, there are some political sycophants who are going around saying that Anwar should be given the second term.

Anwar has more than three years to go till the 16th General Election (GE16) yet if he already cannot manage the country in the first year alone, how is going to manage another term?

Anwar came to power on the basis of bringing about the much-needed reforms and changes. Unfortunately, we hear the rhetoric of reforms now and then but then reforms for all intents and purposes are dead.

Regrettably, Anwar is not in for reforms but to re-entrench the existence ethnic and religious divide. Despite his engagement in philosophy, political expediency to stay in power is the hallmark of the present regime.

This is why I believe that search for a political alternative must continue rigorously. The PH-led government is big disappointment to Malaysians. The PH-led government should be replaced - the sooner the better. - April 13, 2024

Former DAP stalwart and Penang chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is chairman of the United Rights of Malaysian Party (Urimai) interim council.

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

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