Let’s set aside political differences, say moderates in Malaysia

Malaysia's King, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, and newly appointed Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim at the swearing-in ceremony at the National Palace in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 24. PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA – With a new prime minister sworn in and a unity government in the works, moderates have called on Malaysians to move on from the 15th General Election and give their full support to the new line-up.

Former ambassador Noor Farida Mohd Ariffin believes that a majority of Malaysians are delighted that the King, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, has appointed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the country’s 10th prime minister.

“The rakyat has spoken decisively in favour of Pakatan Harapan. I hope all Malaysians and political parties will give their full support to our new prime minister and his government,” said Datuk Noor Farida. “Let peace and harmony reign in our beloved country.”

Malaysia, she said, needed leaders who believed in inclusivity and refrained from using race and religion to divide the people.

On Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin’s challenge to Mr Anwar to prove that he had the majority support in Parliament to be prime minister, Ms Noor Farida said that “he should move on”.

She added: “(He should) accept the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decision and be content with the role of opposition leader.”

Malaysian Unity Foundation trustee Lee Lam Thye said that following the King’s consistent call for a unity government, the people should give their full support.

“The rakyat must now respond by giving full support to the unity government, even if the outcome is not exactly what some had hoped for,” said Tan Sri Lee. “After all, we are all in this together. We face similar problems, have similar aspirations and have hopes of living harmoniously with each other.”

He added: “Let us put aside our political differences and put our shoulders to the wheel for the good of all.”

Mr Lee said that the political uncertainties had had an adverse effect on the economy, making investors hesitant, which was not good for the country in the long run.

“We need stability and unity, both of which are precursors to economic progress and harmonious living,” he said.

Calling on the opposition to play its role, Mr Lee said it must always be vigilant against policies and actions not conducive to harmonious living in line with the Rukun Negara, or national principles.

“We hope that on both sides of the political divide, those who propose and those who oppose act in line with democratic principles,” he said.

Moderation advocate Mohamed Tawfik Ismail said that while it was okay to celebrate the results of the general election, no one should be gloating and goading the loser.

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“So far, we have shown maturity when changes took place during GE14, which was a sign of a truly democratic culture flourishing,” he said.

On the new prime minister, Mr Mohamed Tawfik, who stood and lost in Bagan Datuk in the recent election, said that Mr Anwar should “reverse” the Islamisation of the country’s institutions, which had been unsettling the minds of moderate Muslims and non-Muslims.

Mr Anwar, he added, should also reaffirm the principles of the Rukun Negara and uphold the Malaysia Agreement 1963. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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