SHAH ALAM, March 18 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has given an assurance that he will not be unjust towards anyone, including opposition leaders, in the fight against corruption.
The prime minister said he had gone through very difficult times when he was not in the government and thus would not resort to victimising and slandering any quarters.
“At this age I want to take my bitter experience as a reminder and lesson to avoid inflicting cruelty on anyone, including opposition leaders. But don’t cook up excuses to give the impression that leaders of opposition parties should not be charged,” he said.
The PKR president said this in his winding-up speech at the Special PKR National Congress 2023 themed “Malaysia MADANI, Implementation of Idealism” at Stadium Malawati here today.
He said since being appointed as prime minister, his priority was not to charge anyone but to rectify the flaws in the country’s system so that Malaysia could regain its shine.
For this, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and judiciary need to be rejuvenated as independent bodies with integrity, he said.
He said corrupt people should not be protected because their actions had damaged the country and affected its drive for development.
“Sometimes during discussions with enforcement bodies, I just did not know where to start. Every file has problems. That’s why we are baffled when such matters (fighting corruption) are not supported by people professing the Islamic spirit, Malays or those who love the country,” he added.
Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said if the system was not cleaned up, it would cause more leakages and to prevent this the Unity Government would remain firm about combating corruption and implementing good governance.
“But it’s not fair to say we practise favouritism. These people were protected because at that time they had power; Many people know and these are not new cases. The problem is some people talk about religious affairs but know nothing about matters of the state. That’s why I say the first matter is about governance,” he said.
The prime minister said he did not wish to engage in any politics of enmity, including with PAS which had previously worked with PKR.
“(PAS) was a team with us. Different leaders definitely will have different narratives. The previous leaders were firm on the question of corruption and irregularities. The way they are attacking us (now) is beyond the ethical and moral limits. When we reply, we are said to be against Islam, said to be attacking ulama,” he added.
Meanwhile, Anwar also announced an additional allocation of RM150 million for tahfiz schools and pondok institutions registered with the Islamic Development Department Malaysia (JAKIM).
He said the government could afford to do this due to national savings made in checking leakages and irregularities.
Anwar gave an assurance that any increase in national revenue such as through tax collection was not for the benefit of leaders but would be channelled back to help the people, especially farmers, rubber smallholders and the poor.
He also said it was compulsory for all leaders of the party to join Koperasi Keadilan Berhad (KIRA), which was launched today to look after the welfare of members.