KAJANG: No one will be marginalised under his administration and a Malaysia for all Malaysians are some of the pledges that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has given right after being appointed to the country’s top job.
The Tambun MP also reiterated that he will continue to uphold the status of Bahasa Malaysia as the official language, Islam’s status as the official religion, the privileges of the Malays and bumiputra, and the position of the Malay Rulers as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, adding that this is to clear confusion that arose from mudslinging and attacks during the campaigning period for the 15th General Election.
“Malaysia is six decades old and every Malaysian regardless of ethnicity, religious belief or region, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak, should not be left to feel that they are ignored in any way.
“None should be marginalised under my administration,” Anwar said in his first press conference as Prime Minister at the Sungai Long Club House here.
Anwar said the focus of his administration will be on the economy and he will do whatever it takes to revive the economy so that the welfare of the poor and the marginalised will be protected.
He noted that foreign investors appeared to show confidence in his appointment as the Prime Minister while the share market performance also improved.
He also declared Nov 28 a public holiday.
“I will discuss with the Chief Secretary (to the Government) because I have promised a holiday for the Monday (following the elections), but the political impasse wasn’t settled last Monday.
“God willing, it is settled on Thursday and I will fulfil my promise to have a holiday next Monday,”said Anwar.
Noting that foreign investors’ confidence has changed, the ringgit has strengthened and the stock market is fresher, he decided that today will not be a public holiday but Monday.
The 75-year-old Pakatan Harapan chairman also said his government has a convincing majority to lead the country and that he has the commitment of all Barisan Nasional MPs to support a unity government comprising the three major coalitions of Pakatan, Barisan and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
Anwar said he also has the support of Parti Warisan, Muda, Parti Bangsa Malaysia andIndependents, adding that Gabungan Rakyat Sabah has also approached him for discussion.
“I take a very open view (of things).
This is a national unity government and all are welcome on condition that we accept the fundamental rules of good governance, no corruption and Malaysia for all Malaysians,” he added.
Anwar is also willing to have his support tested in Dewan Rakyat, which will convene on Dec 19, with the first order of business to be a motion for a vote of confidence.
“Right now, (Perikatan Nasional chairman) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has challenged our strength, which he does not need to do because I’m not a prime minister like him.
“In fact, I have asked Pakatan to propose a vote of confidence on the first day of Parliament.
“We have crossed 130 or 140, and what we need is to ensure that national unity transcends beyond coalitions,” he added.
Anwar also said two deputy prime ministers from Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia will be considered.
“Because the biggest component in East Malaysia is GPS, therefore we will consider,” he said.
He also said a new federal budget will be tabled by the government in the new Parliament session, possibly next year.
“Of course we have to clear emoluments (for the civil service) on Dec 19 so that our public servants don’t have to worry.
“In another month or so, we will table a new or revised budget,” he said.
Anwar also reiterated that to instil public confidence, he will not draw a salary as a prime minister.
Earlier yesterday, Anwar took his oath of office before Yang diPertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and signed the instruments of appointment, which were then attested by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali.
Anwar received the blessing of the King, who had earlier yesterday held a special meeting with his fellow Rulers to deliberate on matters related to the formation of the new government.
In a statement after the meeting, the Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said the King reminded all Dewan Rakyat members to work together for the future ofthe nation.
Sultan Abdullah also reminded the Prime Minister and the new government to remain humble.
“The people should not be burdened with endless political turmoil.
“The country needs a stable government to stimulate the economic landscape and for development.
“Dewan Rakyat members who have been elected by the people are reminded to show solidarity by giving priority, high commitment and their best service to the people,” Ahmad Fadil said.