Stop making calls for Dr M to quit as PM, urges Anwar

Anwar Ibrahim.

SHAH ALAM: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim today urged his party members and leaders to refrain from making statements urging Dr Mahathir Mohamad to step down as prime minister.

He said that nothing had changed with the Pakatan Harapan leaders’ consensus on him succeeding Mahathir as prime minister when the time comes.

He said there were attempts to sabotage this smooth transition.

“As far as Tun (Mahathir) and I are concerned, nothing has changed,” Anwar said, when asked about PKR Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim’s recent call for Mahathir to step down.

Hassan, a lawyer, had asked Mahathir to step down due to controversies surrounding race and religion faced by the country.

Karim claimed that “it is clear that he (Mahathir) cannot address many of the issues facing the country today”.

On Indian-born preacher Dr Zakir Naik, Anwar said the PKR top leadership had yet to meet and decide on their stand on him.

“I have my own views but I also want to hear from other leaders about it at our political bureau meeting on Wednesday,” he said, adding he only came back from Mecca last week.

He said the meeting on Wednesday would discuss issues related to Zakir Naik, the controversy over Jawi khat, and United Chinese School Committees Association (Dong Zong). The discussions would determine the party’s stand on the controversial issues.

When asked whether there was a need for him to meet Naik to hear the preacher’s side of his story, Anwar said there is no need to do so.

“I will read all his explanations,” he added.

Naik, an Indian national, recently sparked controversy when he questioned the loyalty of Malaysian Hindus to Mahathir, and was later quoted as saying that the Chinese in Malaysia could also be considered as “guests” in Malaysia.

Police have summoned Naik to record his statement after more than 100 police reports were lodged against him. He will return to Bukit Aman for questioning again on Monday.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution had earlier said that they would wait for Anwar to return before making a stand on Naik. The party’s vice-president, Zuraida Kamaruddin, said Naik was “out of control”.

Khat debate a minor matter, mastery of BM more important

Opening a professional motivators’ convention here, Anwar said it was important for the people to master Bahasa Malaysia and other languages.

“The debate on the introduction of khat (Jawi writing) in schools is minor compared to the need to master the national language and improve the quality of education.

“We should be open-minded in learning and mastering other languages,” Anwar added.

Chinese and Tamil interest groups had protested against the introduction of khat in vernacular schools saying that it would not help their students improve their command of Bahasa Malaysia.