Anwar apologises for postponement of Pakatan manifesto pledges

Anwar apologises for postponement of Pakatan manifesto pledges
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaks during the ‘Meet Anwar’ dialogue in Kuala Lumpur September 16, 2018. — Picture by Razak Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16 — PKR president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has apologised for postponing several pledges of Pakatan Harapan (PH) manifesto until the country has regained its financial health.

He said when the manifesto was made, PH did not expect the country’s debt will surpass RM1 trillion.

“When seen in today’s context, the statement is different, as such… I apologise as some manifesto can be carried out while some have to be delayed,” he said at a question and answer programme “Meet Anwar” organised by Anwar Ibrahim Club here today.

Among others, he said the debt contributed by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) case ran into tens of billions compared to RM3 billion under the initial expectation.     

“We thought it was under RM3 billion, we were not aware of the purchase of ship, paintings and money given to Leonardo DiCaprio. This is a big problem, so Tun Dr Mahathir had said to give him more time. 

“Whatever we have we’ll offer… these are problems, can you get back all the funds? The aircraft was bought at RM250 million but the second value is much lower, the second hand value for the ship is even much lower, as such we have to incur heavy losses,” he said.

Meanwhile, Anwar reiterated that he would give 100 per cent support to the administration of the government under Dr Mahathir and called on the people to give the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman a chance to rule the country.

“Now, Tun Dr Mahathir has just become prime minister for four months, please give him a chance to serve well, we will support him. We need to give him our full support, I want the PH government to be strong, respected and capable of carrying reforms. Now its Tun Dr Mahathir’s turn, we fully support that and I am giving him my 100 per cent support,” he said.

He was replying to question from the audience who wanted to know his vision as the country’s eighth prime minister.

Commenting on government policies on opposition states, he said it was a PH government policy not to marginalise any districts in the country.

“We respect their rights as enshrined in the constitution, the responsibility of the government is to help the people regardless of their political leaning and religion. Hopefully with the implementation of policies in future, will open the hearts of Kelantan and look to us,” he said.

On the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012, Anwar said PH promised to repeal the draconian law.

“I have suffered (while in prison) to understand and realise myself the sufferings of others. When I was being punished, I saw Sosma and did not agree with the existing law. Secondly, I do not agree with the prosecution and severe punishments over minor offences which were not commensurating,” he said.

Anwar said he had personally forgiven former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the matter between the two of them but on matters pertaining to the country’s finance and the people’s interest, it is subject to the existing processes.

“Personally, I have forgiven him even though he threw me in jail… in the first two weeks I slept on the cement floor. But the question on the country’s finance is a question for the people and I am not in a position to forgive, as they have to follow the due processes. If proven guilty, it is his fate, whatever you take from the public, you have to be accountable,” he said.

Earlier, he launched the book A People’s History of Malaysia written by former Universiti Malaya lecturer and former PKR deputy president Syed Husin Ali who is now PKR objection, appeal and disciplinary committee chairman. — Bernama

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