(Kuala Lumpur, July 11)Politicians need to get their act together in Parliament to determine the course of the country, said Anwar Ibrahim.

“In a democracy, we are duty bound to conduct our affairs in a transparent manner and accept the criticism of the public. What we see today, sadly, is politicians hiding from Parliament, making decisions behind closed doors, harassing the media and casting the nation into a period of darkness.

“Today, more than ever before, we need leadership which unites, which inspires and which can lead the nation forward to a more prosperous and peaceful future,” said the PKR president in a statement today.

Anwar was commenting on a report on poverty by United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston on extreme poverty and human rights.

In the report, Alston questioned Malaysia’s claim that poverty levels in Malaysia was below 1%.

Acknowledging this yesterday, Putrajaya announced that it had revised the poverty line index (PLI) to a monthly household income of RM2,208, which brings the country’s poverty rate in 2019 to 5.6%.

The computation of the PLI was last updated in 2005, and the PLI stood at RM980 in 2016.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of economy Mustapa Mohamed said the new threshold was determined following a review of the index.

Anwar said although Perikatan Nasional (PN) had replaced Pakatan Harapan to “save” the Malays, it has done little since coming into power in March.

“What has the PN administration done since March to defend the Malays? They have assembled a bloated cabinet which will cost the country an additional RM 7.6 million per year.

“They have appointed members of Parliament who already earn a generous allowance as directors of GLCs. In those positions they take jobs away from qualified professionals including Malay corporate leaders while significantly increasing their personal earnings.

“When it comes to addressing the issue of good governance – PN is giving lip service to fighting corruption.

“However, by partnering with the party that was in the driver’s seat when so many millions of Bumiputera shares were squandered, when so many hectares of bumiputera land were lost and when so many mega scandals took place, I question whether the interests of the Malays can really be preserved under the current arrangement,” said the opposition leader.

He said Malaysia’s recovery in the Covid-19 crisis cannot be measured in terms of GDP growth alone.

“The recovery must be measured holistically so that Malaysia emerges stronger, more resilient and more just.”


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