KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim received a standing ovation from Umno delegates at the party’s general assembly 2023 on Friday (June 9).
The party’s permanent chairman Tan Sri Badruddin Amiruddin described Anwar as an old friend who returned to where he embarked on his political journey.
“It was in this hall (Dewan Merdeka) where he soared as one of the nation’s respectful leaders,” Badruddin said in his speech before inviting the crowd to give a standing ovation for Anwar.
Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the reunion of Anwar and Umno was a continuation of nation-building.
“This was a historic moment as we were separated a quarter century ago by Allah’s arrangement.
“And now we’re together again to continue our struggles of nation-building,” he said in his policy speech.
Wearing a light blue baju Melayu, Anwar sat alongside Umno’s senior committee members and other Barisan Nasional component party leaders on the stage.
The last time the Pakatan Harapan chairman attended the general assembly was in 1998, when he gave a speech as Umno's deputy president.
Also making a comeback to Dewan Merdeka was Parti Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who quit the party after being suspended in 2016.
Attending as the guest-of-honour, Anwar was also accompanied by several other unity government leaders which included Gabungan Parti Sarawak chairman parliamentary chief whip Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke, Amanah president Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu, Amanah deputy president Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub and Upko president Datuk Ewon Benedick.