20 years later, Anwar makes historic return

Working as one: Anwar chairing the unity government’s first secretariat meeting at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur. — SHAARI CHEMAT/ The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: It was a historic moment as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim set foot into the Umno headquarters in Menara Dato Onn here after more than 20 years to chair the unity government’s first secretariat meeting.

Donning a dark suit without any tie, the Prime Minister and his entourage arrived at 7.50pm yesterday.

Anwar was booted out of Umno on Sept 3, 1998, and it is believed that he had not returned to the premises at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur ever since.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof arrived earlier at 7.41pm.

It was also the first visit to the Umno headquarters by a DAP leader – Anthony Loke, who serves as the party secretary general.

Parti Amanah Negara president Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu then arrived shortly after.

Anwar, who is PKR president, attended the unity government’s first secretariat meeting at 8.30pm.

Umno Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, chair of the secretariat, was seen earlier accompanying Fadillah.

Deputy Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was also present at the meeting.

Other senior party leaders, including MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) secretary-general Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi and Parti Bersatu Sabah president and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) deputy chairman Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, were also seen.

It is learnt that the meeting will be attended by top leaders of Pakatan Harapan, Barisan Nasional, GRS and GPS.

The secretariat, among others, is aimed at ensuring the stability of the unity government. It will discuss the direction of the government from time to time, as well as political cooperation.

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