UNGA: Anwar's speech had substance, sounded 'Mahathirian' - KJ

VEISHNAWI NEHRU
VEISHNAWI NEHRU
25 Sep 2023 06:52pm
Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar on Keluar Sekejap Podcast
Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar on Keluar Sekejap Podcast
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SHAH ALAM - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) mirrored those made by former two-time prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

In saying this, former Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said Anwar’s speech at UNGA sounded 'Mahathirian' in some parts.

"I liked PMX speech. He may not like what I'm going to say, but when I say 'Mahathirian' I mean Anwar took powerful interests or the big powers in the world. This is synonymous with the narrative, view, and stance that started with Dr Mahathir,” he said in the 'Keluar Sekejap' podcast on Sunday.

Khairy, who is also a former health minister, compared Anwar’s speech with that of former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, describing the latter's as being neutral.

“During Pak Lah’s time, his stance was neutral, although it has softened the rhetoric a little,” he said.

Besides, Khairy said during the time of incarcerated former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, he adopted a more friendly stance and wanted to reconcile with the big countries, and former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin did not go (to the UNGA) due to Covid-19.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob started the rhetoric against the big powers.

"And now, back to Anwar, I see there’s an effort to be a bit Mahathrian in the context of the speech that is more challenging the role of the world powers.

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“I found the sentence from paragraph three, which I really like by Anwar: "Today we find those with major powers and those that aspire to greater international status are increasingly casting the United Nations (UN) aside for smaller, supposedly more efficacious platforms. As the powers continue to pay lip service to the imperative of multilateralism, we see the emergence of mini-laterism instead effectively becoming fragmented configurations of power." “I love the emergence of mini-laterism. This is what we're talking about. The leaders of the world powers are not present at the UN. They cannot be bothered by a big plenary session that involves too many people, and maybe they feel outnumbered,” he said.

He added that if the world powers feel there are more leaders than small countries, they can outnumber them at the UN.

“Therefore, we should give more importance to small clubs like the G7, G8, G20, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) and many more groups that exist in their respective regions or states, such as North America, the European Union (EU), or Asean,” he said in the programme he co-hosted with former politician Shahril Hamdan.