By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal- The Malaymail Online
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 ? Political parties and Malaysians fighting for reform must understand that the only way to implement true change is to address the crisis of confidence that the country is facing, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has said, and that mere fixation on an individual will not achieve this purpose. The jailed former opposition leader pointed out that that the crisis Malaysia is facing today is an issue of a lack of confidence and trust in the judiciary, the media as well as the state of the country’s democratic institutions.
“The crisis isn’t merely afflicted by a prime minister or an individual. “The overt focus on one person or role; focusing on (the) corruption of one man misses the point,” Anwar said in a recent interview in response to queries by Malay Mail Online. His replies were narrated to Malay Mail Online by his daughters Nurul Izzah Anwar and Nurul Nuha Anwar, who spoke to him recently. “It is a failure not only of a department but of an entire system. We require systemic change,” Anwar added, saying that true reforms will not be achieved just by removing a leader from power.
He was commenting on the opposition parties and its supporters’ fixation on issues involving Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and 1Malaysia Development Berhad. “Our task is to remain consistent with the economic program to uplift society, not on individuals; focusing on economic hardship, increasing costs inflicted on the rakyat,” the former Permatang Pauh MP stressed. When asked Pakatan Harapan’s prospect in defeating Barisan Nasional at the next general election, Anwar said the only way the federal opposition stood a fighting chance was to form a bigger coalition of like-minded people.
“Pakatan Harapan must be based on a broader coalition of forces,” the PKR de facto leader said. Despite having been imprisoned for over a year now, Anwar says he is doing fine and that his “incorrigible” optimism keeps him going. “After one year, Alhamdulillah, I am doing my best. We have to endure for what we believe in, especially in facing the statecraft of authoritarian rule,” he added. According to Nurul Izzah, Anwar keeps himself busy in prison in immersing himself with his books. “He is an avid reader. That’s how he occupies his time. “The ophthalmologist who saw him in early February suggested a reading light due to worsening power but well it is prison life,” she told Malay Mail Online. On February 10, 2015, the Federal Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s conviction of Anwar for sodomising his former political aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008. The conviction meant Anwar was disqualified as MP and will be barred from contesting in an election for five years after his release. Anwar, a former deputy prime minister and also former Permatang Pauh MP who previously spent six years in prison between 1999 and 2004, is currently serving the five-year jail term.