4:22pm 09/03/2023
Anwar’s ‘Hundred Days Reform’
By:Sin Chew Daily

PM Anwar has been tasked with this mammoth mission to seize the opportunity to take the country out of the current gloom towards a better tomorrow.

December 2, 2022, a week after Anwar Ibrahim was installed as the country’s tenth prime minister, he officially announced his cabinet of 28 ministers hailing from PH, BN, GPS and GRS in a “unity government.” Today, this government is almost a hundred days old.

Demanding an impeccable track record within 100 days is unreasonable. However, if the Anwar administration is moving in the right direction, his cabinet remains united and is persistent in its effort to fight corruption, and civil servants perform their duties efficiently, we can truly look forward to a brand new Malaysia over the next five years.

Let’s take a look at what the unity government has done over the past three months.

1. To firm up his hold on power, Anwar had to go against the will of majority of Malaysians by naming Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who still has dozens of court cases awaiting him, to be one of his two deputies.

Anwar must have weighed the pros and cons and was well aware that if he did not compromise, he would lose the chance of leading the nation. He had to make what was perceived as “essential” decision.

On February 21, Anwar defended Ahmad Zahid’s appointment in parliament, saying even with the court cases still pending, Zahid did not have to resign before he was convicted, adding that he had faithfully been sticking to the unity government’s principle of governance.

2. Battling corruption has been Anwar’s utmost priority, including investigating and suspending RM7 billion flood mitigation projects without open tendering, and probing the allegations made in the ICIJ’s Pandora Papers.

The PM said the government would take stern actions against anyone involved, whether they are from government or opposition side. He has reiterated that fighting corruption and abuse of power remains the most important mission of the finance ministry. We therefore believe that all related laws can get adopted during his tenure.

3. The 2023 Budget involves a total allocation of RM386.14 billion, of which RM99 billion has been set aside for development expenditure.

This Budget is one that takes care of the B40 and M40 communities who will gain access to all kinds of government assistances. In the meantime, the T20 group will have to pay more income tax, along with luxury goods tax and capital gains tax while removing the fuel and utility subsidies from them.

Anwar has also said the inland revenue department will work harder to go after tax defaulters, be they ordinary citizens or multi-millionaires. But obviously the T20 group is specifically targeted!

4. The previous administration set aside RM15 billion for flood mitigation projects to be implemented through 2030. Of this total, RM7 billion worth of contracts have been awarded without going through open tendering.

This RM15 billion has been excluded from the revised 2023 Budget. But, at the height of the Johor floods earlier this month, the PM announced to provide RM600 million for flood mitigation, showing that this money is still around.

Floods after each heavy downpour have become a perennial phenomenon in this country. We do not expect the government’s flood mitigation projects to produce immediate results, and hope the government has a farsighted long-term plan to fix this stubborn problem, hiring experts to conduct probes all around the country, compile the annual rainfall in different areas, strictly prohibit the use of water catchment areas and forest logging, and identify the impact of climate change, among others.

This will then be followed by waterway dredging, monsoon drainage maintenance and the construction of dams, etc.

The entire cost could be astronomical, but at least we must start doing something if we want to keep the seasonal floods at bay.

5. In less than a hundred days, Anwar has visited several countries including Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and the Philippines, and he is scheduled to visit China, Saudi Arabia and Cambodia later this month.

Once the first move has been made, future bilateral issues such as trade, investment and migrant workers will have an easy way out.

The opposition have slammed Anwar for putting too much emphasis on diplomacy instead of domestic issues. That said, it is absolutely necessary to reinforce our diplomatic relationships with other countries neglected over the past few years’ of pandemic.

6. In a survey released on February 26, transport minister Anthony Loke topped the approval rating among cabinet ministers. He has offered quite a few constructive proposals, including digitalized enforcement, upgrading Subang airport as a city airport, digital road tax and driving license, free rail transit for primary school students and people with disability, among others.

We hope that the minister will walk the talk and set an example for his cabinet colleagues.

7. The opposition continue to issue sensitive racial and religious remarks to incite public sentiment. PAS president Hadi Awang even claimed that the opposition had the right to topple the government.

The over 70 members of parliament from the PN coalition should exercise their checks and balances influence instead of raising sensitive issues. These people apparently have not done their jobs properly.

It is indeed impossible to reverse all the grave blunders committed by the previous administrations within just a hundred days. It is therefore hoped that PM Anwar will take up this mammoth mission to seize the opportunity to take the country out of the current gloom towards a better tomorrow.


Anwar Ibrahim
unity government


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