AYER KEROH: The Pakatan Harapan government will not last long if it continues to give excuses to justify its reluctance to implement reforms, says PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic).
In his first speech as party president at the PKR National Congress on Saturday (Dec 7), Anwar said that Malaysians criticising the present government must realise that Pakatan inherited a flawed administration.
"We must accept that we received a very weak system. We cannot use the old rhetoric. I've told students from Poland to Ukraine that a (government) transition will not last long if it uses excuses not to implement brave changes."
Anwar emphasised that the present leadership must be on the same page when it came to issues concerning regular Malaysians.
He said that the Government must prioritise issues pertaining to unemployment and the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), which Malaysians are very concerned about presently.
At the same time, he also said that PKR must be attentive towards the suffering faced by the impoverished.
"I stress this because I see that sometimes, we speak with a structure that is un-relatable to the people," he said.
"The problem is not about the rich, Malays, Chinese or Indians. The issue here is that we must champion equality for every Malaysian," he added.
Anwar also acknowledged the more than 15,000 vote-majority defeat suffered by Pakatan in the recent Tanjung Piai by-election, saying that it should serve as a lesson to its leaders.
"A ruling coalition has never gotten such a big slap. I didn't expect them to vote for Barisan Nasional. We must take heed. We were given the mandate form the people and we shouldn't be too confident and arrogant.
"Please solve the issues faced by regular people," he said.
Anwar said the Government must support and defend civil servants – including the police – as there were concerns about plans to introduce the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).
He said the government should re-examine its decision to delay the tabling of the IPCMC Bill in Parliament.
"Defend it so that the rule of law (is upheld). But don't give the impression that the IPCMC only talks about police misconduct.
"Aside from that, it intends for the police force to be protected in terms of welfare and be given acknowledgment," said the Port Dickson MP.
He ended by stating the importance of unity, respect and discipline for the party.
"I admit my weaknesses and shortcomings. I will improve on what I can. But, to my friends, this struggle is the reform agenda. Discipline, respect and adherence must be at this party. We can have differences but we cannot have factions dividing the party.
The four-day PKR National Congress will conclude on Sunday (Dec 8).