SUNGAI LONG – Newly appointed Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has declared Monday a public holiday in Malaysia.
“I will discuss with the chief secretary because I have promised for a holiday on Monday this week, but this was not settled last Monday,” Datuk Seri Anwar said during a media conference at a golf club in Sungai Long on Thursday.
“God willing, this (impasse) is settled on Thursday, and I will fulfil my promise to have a holiday next Monday.”
Mr Anwar said his first focus as prime minister is to ensure national economic recovery and he noted that after his appointment, foreign investors’ confidence appeared to have been positively affected and the share market situation has improved.
“Foreign investors’ confidence has changed, the ringgit has strengthened and the stock market is fresher,” he said.
“That is why I decided that Friday will not be a public holiday and, instead, it will be next Monday.”
The 75-year-old leader was sworn in as Malaysia’s 10th prime minister on Thursday, ending his 24-year wait to lead the country. The Pakatan Harapan chairman was appointed after the King, Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah, made the decision following a special meeting of the nation’s nine state monarchs.
Mr Anwar said he will start his duties as prime minister on Friday morning.
“Because there is a meeting at 8.30am on Friday and I have discussed with the chief secretary to the government that I will arrive at the Prime Minister’s Office before 10am on Friday,” he added.
Mr Anwar also talked about his feelings since 1998, when he was removed as deputy prime minister by then Premier Mahathir Mohamad.
“My grandson asked me, how much longer do you have to wait? I said not too long, only 24 years. God willing, with all the trials and tribulations... I am proud to say that we have achieved (this),” he said.
Mr Anwar added: “It is not for Anwar, not for the party leaders, but to give this new sense of confidence to Malaysians that this is their land and their country.” THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK