PETALING JAYA: PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has lambasted those who use race to champion their own politics.
The so-called PM-in-waiting said that the very people who were doing so were the ones who condoned massive corruption and kept the Malays poor.
“Even patriotism can be a refuge for scoundrels.
“So now, they reserve the issue of race because they fear the tough stance I have against corruption and abuse of power. My interest is to proceed on that score.
“I am a Malay and a committed Muslim, and I want Muslims and the Malays to succeed – but I am also a leader for all Malaysians.
“It is time, after six decades of independence, that we consider our citizens, that we treat them as equals.
“The pioneers or planners of this sort of congress or alignment are complicit with the crimes of the past, they were completely oblivious or silent or muted (when it came to) endemic massive corruption, ” he said, in apparent reference to the recent Malay Dignity Congress.
Anwar said that these people were not concerned or did not articulate the concerns of the vast majority of Malay poor or on “gross inequality in the country”.
“I think, to my mind, to assist the Malays, to have a transparent programme to assist the poor irrespective of race... the vast majority of them are the Malays, ” he said in an interview with Turkish interviewer Imran Garda in a special edition of The Newsmakers broadcast during the TRT World Forum he was attending as a guest speaker from Oct 21-22.
“Why are you talking about Malay supremacy when you condemn them to poverty and you enrich the few, you condone corruption and you ignore the ethical value of universal values of Islam?” Anwar added.
During the interview, Anwar said that the people's main concern were bread-and-butter issues.
Meanwhile, he added that while in prison, he “kept sane because one is not bothered by news at your expense”.
“I had access to my family and lawyers. The prison guards were marvellous and supportive.
“There were whisperings and smugglings of letters and reports, ” he said.
Anwar has been jailed twice for sodomy, which his supporters have criticised as being politically motivated. His first conviction was overturned, while he was granted a Royal Pardon for the second.
At the same interview, Anwar also spoke about the impact of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB scandal) and how the Sedition Act must be repealed because there were enough laws to handle libel.