KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar today said that he does not want the ‘enmity’ or ‘turbulent relationship’ between him and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to continue to persist as all quarters should have accepted the fact that the people had given him the mandate to lead the government.

In fact, Anwar said that his focus at the moment was to perform his duties as Prime Minister and that he refused to entertain the rantings and comments of the veteran statesman.

“The people have chosen and given their mandate to me to do the job. I am focusing on that…but I also don’t want this to be perceived as a never-ending enmity (with Tun Dr Mahathir),” he said when appeared as a guest in Nation Hub: Special Interview with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim aired on CNBC Indonesia TV tonight.

Anwar said this in response to the question on his relationship with the former prime minister, especially after he was appointed as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister on Nov 24.

The special interview was pre-recorded during Anwar’s two-day visit to Indonesia last weekend.

Meanwhile, when asked about the political atmosphere in Malaysia, Anwar admitted that it was different from Indonesia and some other countries because the political hostility in Malaysia has been described as being “very sharp”, which may have been due to the legacy of Tun Dr Mahathir’s leadership style.

“Whoever does not support him (Tun Dr Mahathir) is considered an enemy…and this situation (sharp political hostility) has continued until now.

“But at least we (the Unity Government) acted quickly (by changing to the new political style) by thinking about the country, the future and political stability, and so we succeeded in forming a coalition with a stance of good governance and rejecting corruption and this principle has been agreed upon.

“I hope our Opposition (in Malaysia) will not continue to “sharpen” the political hostility, and I have also asked them to refrain from issuing statements that incriminate or label people as infidels…if this can be alleviated, we can have a better dialogue,” he said.

Regarding the people’s criticism of the government, especially among the youth, Anwar said the people cannot be blamed, and that it was a challenge for the government because the people will always evaluate the performance of his Cabinet.

“For example, I see the tone of young people now and last month, it’s very different…it means that they adopt an open attitude and are not constrained by stagnant or conservative thinking and they also judge us,” he added.


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