Anwar dismantles barriers of vendetta politics

In Kedah, Anwar received a warm welcome from Sanusi, who took the opportunity to extend an apology for his previous remarks towards Anwar and his leadership.

LIZA MOKHTAR
LIZA MOKHTAR
07 May 2024 10:54am
Anwar met with Mohd Nassuruddin and discussed matters related to Kelantan's interests.
Anwar met with Mohd Nassuruddin and discussed matters related to Kelantan's interests.
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SHAH ALAM - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's recent visits to Kelantan and Kedah, both Opposition-led states under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, have garnered considerable attention and interpretation.

During his visit to Kelantan, Anwar engaged in discussions with Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Nassuruddin Daud on matters pertaining to the state's interests.

This included deliberations on upgrading the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Pengkalan Chepa to an international airport.

In Kedah, Anwar received a warm welcome from Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, who took the opportunity to extend an apology for his previous remarks towards Anwar and his leadership.

Anwar's visit to Kedah was warmly received by Sanusi.
Anwar's visit to Kedah was warmly received by Sanusi.

Anwar also allocated tens of millions of ringgit for infrastructure development in Kampung Tersusun, aiming to benefit the underprivileged residents.

These visits have sparked speculation about whether Anwar's strategy aims to dismantle the barriers of vendetta politics and foster a harmonious atmosphere between the Unity Government and Opposition states.

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Universiti Malaysia Terengganu Faculty of Business Policy Studies, Associate Professor Dr Mohd Yusri Ibrahim also serving as a Research Fellow in Political Literacy and Advocacy Unit, expressed that Anwar is a modern democratic figure who does not advocate vendetta politics.

"Anwar is trying to prove that he is the Prime Minister for all Malaysians, not just for Pakatan Harapan (PH) voters. Vendetta politics is not his approach.

"He also emphasises good governance in administration, and Anwar's readiness to visit the two opposition states demonstrates that it is not merely political theatre," he said.

According to Yusri, as a leader who champions the common people, it is not surprising that Anwar pays close attention to states where many residents still have low incomes.

He noted that for a long time, states governed by different parties have often been sidelined by the federal government, intentionally or unintentionally.

Therefore, Anwar's openness in visiting Kelantan and Kedah breaks tradition and bridges the gap between the two blocs.

On the other hand, the warmth seen from these visits might somewhat cause discomfort among both PH and PN supporters.

"PH supporters, for example, will certainly feel somewhat jealous of the privileges given to states whose people wholly rejected PH.

"However, I believe Anwar will succeed in convincing all government component parties to adopt mature politics.

"For PN component parties, there may be concerns that this friendliness will increase Anwar's popularity among their supporters," he said.

He added that regardless of perceptions, Anwar's demonstration of mature political culture should be a model for the country.

"Politics should be during election season, which happens every five years.

"Outside of election season, all political communities should focus on developing the country and ensuring the welfare of the entire population.

"Vendetta politics and favouritism should not be Malaysia's political culture; it needs to be discarded, as Anwar is doing," he said.

Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Kedah Political Science Lecturer Firdaus Ramli highlighted Anwar's visits as evidence of his commitment to serving the people regardless of political affiliations.

This, he said, indirectly enhances Anwar's image as a leader for everyone and the political coalition he leads to continue gaining support in the upcoming elections.

"Surely, this good relationship will counter the criticisms previously thrown that the central government bullies Opposition representatives in Parliament and at the state level," he said.

According to Firdaus, Anwar's visits can also be seen as a double-edged move, potentially causing discomfort among PN leaders.

"This is because there are among their leaders who maintain good relations with Anwar, whereas the same does not apply to the top leadership of PN," he said.

He added that efforts to foster good relationships in both states should not only come from the central government or Anwar but also require state-level leaders to extend the olive branch.

"A cold relationship between the central and the states will undoubtedly have repercussions, especially for states with limitations in resources or income generation," he said.

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