Anwar says PKR reps who meet with ‘enemy party’ abusing power, trust

Jerry Choong
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim poses for group pictures during the 2019 Reformist Convention V2.0 in Shah Alam November 24, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

SHAH ALAM, Nov 24 — PKR lawmakers who meet and make clandestine deals are the definition of corruption, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

The PKR president did not name anyone in his speech at the Konvensyen Reformasi 2019 with Pakatan Harapan (PH) allies here, though his remarks are significant after last week’s leak of a late-night meeting between a select group of PKR and Umno lawmakers hosted by his party deputy and Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

“This is the definition of abuse of power, to the extent that they would meet and negotiate with the enemy party,” Anwar said to an audience of roughly 500 people.

The Port Dickson MP also said the “Umno bad habit” of its leaders rewarding their supporters with contracts was alive in PKR when it should be discarded.

“Sometimes, those who forget reformasi can be found within PKR. They forget their roots, fearful of speaking about reformasi or even meeting reformists.

“It is not a question of guaranteeing the positions of a few as minister, or whoever gives their support gets projects. Who does not support, no projects, this is old Umno behaviour,” he said.

Anwar said he has often raised this matter with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when they meet, and added that he intends to stub out this practice.

Many pioneering members in PKR and its PH partner Bersatu — which is chaired by Dr Mahathir — were originally from Umno, including ministers.

However, Anwar mentioned no names in his speech.

The “reformasi” icon reminded PH supporters that the spirit and struggle of reform sought by the first wave of campaigners in 1998 must continue even now that the party is government.

“We promised back in ‘98 to change bad to good, weak to strong, and corrupt to clean. It was the ordinary people who struggled alongside us, not the towkays and Tan Sris.

“I have not forgotten, even standing here on the stage, that I am where I am because of you all. Those who decide are ultimately not the few squabbling politics, but the rakyat. God willing, if I am to become prime minister, I cannot possibly forget this fact,” he said to loud applause.

He said it is important that PH members remember the purpose of their campaign for reform.

“Reformasi is not over merely by winning the general election, it is not over when Tun Dr Mahathir or even Anwar Ibrahim becomes prime minister,” Anwar said.

“The agenda is not to become a minister with the attendant protocols and salutations, the agenda is to defend the rakyat, guarantee freedom and to pursue justice.

“Justice is not for leaders to make things comfortable for a select few, but for all the rakyat.”

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