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Anwar tells why PH facing backlash from Malays
27-Apr-2019, freemalaysiatoday.com

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim warns the new government to focus more on bread-and-butter issues faced by the rural Malays “with the greatest urgency”.

PETALING JAYA: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim says the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has faced a backlash from the Malays because it “succumbed too much to pressure from the urban elite and civil society”.

“The urban elite sets a list of priorities which are a disconnect from the real problems of the poor and, at times, the elite seem to ignore these real problems.

“I’ve not heard them talking about poverty, inequality,” Anwar said at a plenary session of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association conference in Singapore, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reported.

Anwar’s comments follow a survey by independent polling firm Merdeka Center, published yesterday, which showed only 39% of Malaysians gave a positive rating to the PH government, less than two weeks before it marks its first year in power.

However, the CNA report, did not say if Anwar made his comments in reference to the survey particularly.

“Human rights is an issue, judicial independence is an issue, and (this is something) which we should not delay in terms of implementation.

“But the crux of the problem is still the economy. Economic hardship is real; we will have to deal with this,” Anwar added.

CNA quoted Anwar as warning the new government to do more to focus on bread-and-butter issues faced by the rural Malays particularly, “with the greatest urgency”.

Or else, it risks a rise in “religious bigotry and racism”, he said.

Anwar, who is prime-minister-in-waiting, reportedly said that rural Malays are concerned that the PH government is coming up with policies that marginalise them.

That is why it was incumbent on the PH government to reassure them that this was simply not the case, adding that PH officials should show that it is serious about preserving the rights of the Bumiputeras.

He also said every Malaysian must be competent in using Bahasa Malaysia.

The Merdeka Center survey indicated that perceptions over the economy, governance and concerns among Malays, as well as treatment of the races in Malaysia, were among factors that could have contributed to the decline in support from the people.

According to Merdeka Center, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s approval rating has also taken a plunge from a high of 71% recorded during the first three months of PH in power to 46%. The survey was conducted from March 5-11.

Meanwhile, Anwar, who is Port Dickson MP, also called for the urban community in Malaysia to engage with those in rural parts of the country by showing them how to use technology, for instance.

“This sort of engagement is the only resolution, but it’s for the benefit of the community. Otherwise, potentially it’s a problem.”

Anwar also reiterated the importance of affirmative action, CNA reported, and that Putrajaya will continue to help the rural poor to give them a leg up in getting places in universities.




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