KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — Malaysia needs both Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his designated successor PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to consolidate its “nascent” democracy, Johor DAP chief Liew Chin Tong said today.
He also pointed out that Pakatan Harapan (PH) must win the next general election to ensure that the “democratic fruit” of May 2018 would not disappear with the return of Barisan Nasional’s (BN) “corrupt and authoritarian regime”.
“As both Dr Mahathir and Anwar promised to see through the transition, it’s time also to reiterate that this government is only possible because there was a reconciliation between Dr Mahathir and Anwar.
“We might as well accept the fact that this is a Mahathir-Anwar government, as much as it is an Anwar-Mahathir government,” he wrote.
“The aim of this government is simple and clear: to reform, to consolidate democracy; and to cement a Malaysian middle ground that will prevent racial forces from destroying the nation,” added Liew, who is also the deputy defence minister.
The senator wrote that the discourse over race in recent months has disheartened him, particularly the fact that many non-Malays are blaming Dr Mahathir for the loss in the Tanjung Piai by-election and are sending him angry messages.
It is, however, the opposite with Malay grassroots, where anti-Lim Guan Eng sentiments dominate.
“The reality is that we have to work in coalition and we have to do our best to keep the entire coalition in the middle.
“It is never easy in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural society. This is precisely why we need to stay in the middle, and to expand the middle.
“There is still time for this government to reform,” he said.
Yesterday, Dr Mahathir revealed today he and Anwar both agree that there is too much tension over the latter succeeding him as prime minister.
Dr Mahathir has repeatedly said that he will not renege on his promise to step down for Anwar to take over as prime minister amid a surge of calls for him to stay on from both sides of the political divide.
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