KUCHING (Nov 24): The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong’s solution to the nation’s political crisis that required Him to decide on the next Malaysian Prime Minister marked the beginning of “healing and reconciliation” for Malaysia, said Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) secretary-general Baru Bian.
He said Malaysians have been waiting and praying for the appointment of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Malaysia’s 10th prime minister.
“Today is indeed a historic day. The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong in his wisdom has appointed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia.
“The people of Malaysia had been waiting and praying for this announcement since Sunday, as Pakatan Harapan (PH) had won the most number of seats in the 15th general election (GE15),” baru said in a statement today.
“I extend my heartiest congratulations to Datuk Seri Anwar on his appointment. It has been a long and sometimes difficult road for him but he persevered throughout the years, never giving up his dream.
“We are thankful that a leader who has consistently championed for truth and justice has finally been vindicated and given an opportunity to lead our country during this challenging time,” he added.
Baru, who is Ba Kelalan assemblyman, also believed that the Anwar will be facing a lot of challenges along the way.
Among the most troubling issues he and his government would have to deal with, would be the widespread corrupt practices that have permeated all levels of society, business and government, he said.
“Grand corruption and the abuse of high-level power has seen Malaysia losing ground in economic growth and prosperity. While we were once known as a model of harmonious multi-racialism, Malaysia is lately infamous for the 1MDB corruption scandal of the 6th Prime Minister,” he said, referring to the jailed Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak.
In order to move towards national rebuilding, Baru suggested the setting up of a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission, modeled after the South African Commission.
He said the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission adopted a restorative rather than a retributive model of justice to address the problems that had arisen due to the apartheid.
Malaysia can adopt the principles and the processes of that model to address the injustice and corruption that assails this nation, he added.
“This will be a positive step in the way forward for us,” said Baru.
The country is also facing great economic hardship and people are finding it difficult just to put food on the table, with the prices of goods rising and wages stagnating, he pointed out.
More worrying is the chasm that divides the people of different races and religions, he added.
He said the bubble of unity and harmony had long been burst by self-serving politicians who played on racial and religious issues to gain support.
“It is now time for our nation to heal. It is time that all peoples of this country reconcile and find acceptance of each other.
“We must acknowledge that every citizen has a place in this country, and work towards restoring mutual respect and trust. We must make a start today so that one day, we will be as comfortable in each other’s homes as was the case during the days of our parents and grandparents,” he said.
Baru also said he applauded the steps taken by the Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Lim Guan Eng and secretary-general Anthony Loke, who openly sought for forgiveness for past actions that had offended Sarawakians and in grace the Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg reciprocated.
“This should be a model that we all must build on moving forward,” he said.
In addition, Baru said, the new government has to work towards ending the suspicions and even hatred among the races.
“We need to promote understanding so that trust and faith may be restored. We need to build an inclusive Malaysia with government that practises good governance, transparency and accountability, for the good of all.
“We trust that the New Economic Agenda espoused by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (DSAI) will benefit all the peoples of the land, raising our standard of living and narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor.
“May God guide DSAI in his new role so that Malaysia can regain our pride as a country where ‘Muhibbah’ reigns and the ‘Rukun Negara’ is joyfully practised,” he said.