PETALING JAYA: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim today said race relations in the country are on a downward spiral despite efforts by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration to bring about change and reform.
“Racial and communal sentiments should not be taken lightly. If left unchecked, they could wreck efforts to get the country back on track,” he said in a statement to commemorate PH’s first year in power.
His remarks follow those of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who said yesterday that race is still a big issue in the country despite talk of unity and being “Malaysian first”.
“Everybody talks about his own race,” the prime minister said in an interview with the media, adding that ministers who wished to gain support from their own communities had to bring up race-related issues to the government.
In January, meanwhile, political analyst Bridget Welsh said there had been a significant decline in race relations among certain communities, based on data from a survey.
In his statement, Anwar also urged PH to include meaningful economic measures to help the poor in its reforms.
The Port Dickson MP said this would ensure that the country’s wealth does not remain among only the rich and powerful.
He also thanked Mahathir, whom he is poised to succeed as prime minister, for mobilising PH during its time in the opposition to bring about political change in Malaysia.