KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today thanked Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for agreeing to work together with him in forming his “unity government”.
He said he could not have formed a stable government to fix the economy nor garner the support of the MPs needed to form the majority in the government if it had not been for the hard work and sacrifices Zahid did behind the scenes.
“Today’s a great day in our unity government’s history and I want to thank everyone for putting aside their differences, anger and wrath towards each other for the good of the collective,” he told the Unity Government Convention at the Umno headquarters.
“I’ve aspired for years to rid Malaysia of systemic corruption and move us away from the old politics, but this aspiration would not have come to fruition after the 15th general elections (GE15) if not for the efforts of my deputy Ahmad Zahid.
“He was one of those who was attacked relentlessly by the public and myself included, but if he did not put away those feelings and garner the support of Umno members, we would not have a stable government now,” Anwar said during the inaugural convention.
Anwar and Ahmad Zahid were fierce rivals before GE15 and had been at loggerheads leading up to polling day. Pakatan Harapan (PH) won 82 seats while Umno won 32 seats to Perikatan Nasional (PN) 72.
As such there was no majority and no one could form the government since PN refused to work together with PKR. As a result, PKR joined forces with BN and they formed a strong government ever since.
Anwar has made good governance and ridding the country of corruption as his top agendas. He said he was thankful for being able to conduct his duties without interruptions as he reminisced of the tough days he had to go through when he was held in police custody.
He said his journey was bitter but he held no ill will towards his enemies, adding that he was proud of the commitment they showed.
“I’m not affected by praise but the journey and battles I endured were painful. However, I’d like to move on and so do you, which makes me so happy to see everyone show commitment to the cause and one another.
“I salute all of you for doing this. Together, we will rid the country of corruption, learn to forgive each other and we will form a new Malaysia that is Madani and inclusive,” he added.
Today’s unity convention saw leaders from 19 parties attend. DAP’s Anthony Loke, Gobind Singh Deo and Kelvin Yii; Muda’s Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman; MCA’s Wee Ka Siong, Umno Youth chief Akmal Saleh, as well as deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof were in attendance.