Netizens claim Anwar talks more than he delivers, is it a fair judgement?

Public opinions painted a narrative that Anwar's rhetoric outweighs his actions.

22 Apr 2024 08:00pm
Anwar delivered his speech during the PKR 25 Years Convention at Ideal Convention Centre Shah Alam (IDCC) yesterday. Photo by Bernama
Anwar delivered his speech during the PKR 25 Years Convention at Ideal Convention Centre Shah Alam (IDCC) yesterday. Photo by Bernama

SHAH ALAM - Malaysians have taken to social media platforms to voice a pointed critique that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's rhetoric outweighs his actions.

Yesterday, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) celebrated its silver jubilee anniversary, marking the 25th anniversary of the political party’s existence in Malaysia.

Anwar, who is also the PKR President, addressed the convention and highlighted several positive initiatives undertaken by the Madani Government since assuming office.

He outlined measures taken to address various issues, noting that they had already begun to yield positive results.

Anwar also shared encouraging news regarding the country's rates and improvements in areas such as unemployment, inflation, exports and investments, signalling positive developments.

Highlighting the Rahmah Cash Contribution (STR) as an example, he noted a significant increase in funding from RM8 billion to RM10 billion this year, benefiting nine million people and alleviating their financial burdens.

“(Besides) for the Sumbangan Asas Rahmah (Sara), we increased fivefold from RM130 million last year to RM700 million, (while) aid for school students, from Year One to Form Five, all Malay, Chinese and Indian students, including in Sabah and Sarawak will receive from the 2024 allocation amounting to RM800 million,” he said.

Following this, many netizens went online on X to share their thoughts on Anwar’s speech at the PKR 25th convention.

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An X user, @Salim_Iskandar commented: “What economy? Do you even know how bad the economy is right now? There is no local rice, all subsidies are withdrawn. What level of delusion is this?”

Additionally, @HalimCrypto said: “Anwar is only good at talking, but there is nothing substantial there. He is like an empty shell, completely devoid of any substance. While Tesla invests in Thailand and Apple invests in Indonesia, Malaysia has nothing to show. Anyone can talk, but what people really want to see are results, not just empty words. He has been Prime Minister for two years, and it is terrible!”

Another X user, @TenzinTsondrue said: “His speeches may be impressive, but they are just words. But where is the leadership? Where is the commitment to reform? Since becoming Prime Minister, he has been silent on important issues like his Deputy Prime Minister's DNAA (discharge not amounting to acquittal) case and the LCS (littoral combat ship) case. Now that he is in charge, why the silence?”

Meanwhile, other users of X, including @Febriyan76, @farhiiberahim, @basyir89, and @snipermaya, have all claimed that Anwar talks big but fails to take effective action and follow through with implementation.

These public opinions have painted a narrative that Anwar's rhetoric outweighs his actions. This prompts the question: is this assessment a fair portrayal of Anwar's political endeavours?

International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) associate professor of political Science Dr Syaza Shukri said that it would not be fair to claim that Anwar talks more than he delivers.

“Anwar's role as Prime Minister involves both advocating for new ideas and highlighting government achievements, with results evolving through government actions.

“Criticism of the government, especially regarding the cost of living, is reasonable, yet initiatives are in place to address concerns,” she said.

Syaza also highlighted that Malaysia is currently polarised and some individuals are reluctant to acknowledge the government's efforts.

“Interestingly, many of the individuals voicing complaints are supporters of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) themselves.

“While their frustration is understandable, given that reform pledges were a key factor in their support for PH and the current government, only time will tell how things progress,” she added.

Echoing Syaza's views, Pacific Research Centre of Malaysia principal adviser Dr Oh Ei Sun said that many Malaysians were frustrated by socioeconomic challenges like rising prices and sought concrete government action.

“Despite Anwar's promises of reform, people feel a disconnect between rhetoric and reality, questioning the lack of transformative change.

“Anwar faces obstacles from remnants of past corruption and at the same time leads the coalition government, limiting his ability to enact sweeping changes.

“However, without a viable alternative, the choice remains between sticking with Anwar or potentially facing a Pas-dominated PN rule with uncertain economic priorities,” he said.

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