‘I am Prime Minister for all, representing all Malaysians, with an assurance of ensuring harmony among the people, and that I am ready to accept the participation of others (political parties) to strengthen stability in the country.’
– Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister.
We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it. This proverb from the Bible comes to mind when I reflect on our new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s journey through life.
“From jail to prime minister,” screamed one of the headlines which hailed Anwar’s recent appointment as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia after six days of uncertainty due to the country’s first hung parliament.
Before the 15th general election (GE15), who would have thought Anwar, who is Pakatan Harapan chairman and Parti Keadilan Rakyat president, would be our new Prime Minister?
Certainly, not me or most of my friends who knew next to nothing about politics.
Before the Prime Minister impasse was solved by our astute Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, our country faced a bleak future.
Everyday, the poor media members gathered outside Istana Negara, waiting for news of the newest prime minister.
Both Anwar and Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had claimed they had secured a simple majority to form the new government.
Later, it was revealed that the King would only make a decision on who should be appointed the new PM after he was sufficiently convinced.
Only the coalition leader who had secured the 112-seat mark could be considered and it seemed that although Muhyiddin had sent 115 statutory declarations (SDs) to the palace, it was not proof that all the names mentioned were in support of him.
Everyday, my best friend called me and asked,”Who’s our new PM?” She knew I worked in the press and that I was keeping tabs on the latest news in the mass media and social media.
There was certainly no shortage of news on the impasse and predictions which coalition might lead the new government with political analysts being interviewed left and right.
Later, Anwar and Muhyiddin were summoned to Istana Negara with the King proposing that they form a unity government for the sake of stability.
It was said that Muhyiddin rejected the suggestion, insisting he had the majority’s support while Anwar agreed to form the unity government as proposed by the king.
The King also met BN chairman, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and BN representatives Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan and Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and four Gabungan Parti Sarawak representatives, namely, Serian MP Datuk Seri Richard Riot, Kanowit MP Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang, Petra Jaya MP Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusuf and Kapit MP Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi. This later led to the formation of a unity government led by Anwar as the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, PN opted to play the role of the opposition in the country.
I finally heard the news that Anwar had been appointed as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister on Radio Klasik Nasional Malaysia as I was driving to work. That was on Thursday, November 24.
The female deejay, in her short announcement, also congratulated Anwar on his appointment.
Anwar was sworn in as Prime Minister on Friday, November 25. Since then, The Star and New Straits Times have been carrying many congratulatory messages to Anwar from Malaysian companies.
Anwar seems to have the Midas touch now: he is bringing in money to these Malaya-based newspapers and to the nation ever since he took over the helm of the federal government.
The stock market, for instance, has responded positively to Anwar’s appointment as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister.
Like many other Malaysians, I am happy for Anwar. It is time for him to be Prime Minister. He has been in politics for a long time and was Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister during the 1990s. He was prominent in Malaysia’s response to the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
Anwar was jailed in April 1999 after a trial for sodomy and corruption much criticised by human rights groups and several foreign governments. He was released in 2004 after his conviction was overturned. In 2015, he was sentenced to another five years’ jail after a second sodomy conviction in 2015.
According to an interesting story by Azri Azizan in “World of Buzz”, a leading social news site in Malaysia, many Malaysians were glued to the screen on the day Anwar was sworn in as Prime Minister.
Many were touched and many cried to see that at last, he had the chance to become Prime Minister. It was a dream come true not only for Anwar but also for the country.
When uncertainty still prevailed immediately after GE15, my best friend asked me who would be the Prime Minister.
“Don’t know,” I told her truthfully. Yes, that was indeed the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Although Anwar’s Pakatan Harapan had won the most seats (82) in GE15, it was still short of 112 magic number required to form the simple majority in parliament.
Congratulations to Anwar on being appointed as our 10th PM and on achieving his life-long dream of helming the country. I am happy for him and for Malaysia.
I also salute Anwar’s wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for standing by her man through good and bad times. Did you notice her as she sat or stood beside him as he basked in the glory of his success?
I believe Anwar is Prime Minister because it is God’s will and it is time for Malaysia to move forward and become great again under the leadership of a great man.
Remember, we, human beings, can dream of what we want. However, it is only with God’s will that we can achieve our dreams.