KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today said that it is not right to conclude that change will happen only with young leaders.
The best example of this, he said, was seen during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), where the Muslim prophet’s right-hand man Abu Bakar was a senior although the prophet also had younger companions with him.
“I have already told representatives of the party that transition (of power from the old to the young) must happen,” he said during a town hall session at the Universiti Malaysia Alumni Centre here today.
“But we can’t jump without principles... and the process must be democratic.
“People suggest, maybe Nurul Izzah, maybe Rafizi, but can you build a consensus and compromise first in the party?” he added, referencing his daughter and PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, as well as deputy president Rafizi Ramii.
He was replying to questions from university students who said that Malaysian politics was still controlled by political figures who have been leaders for decades, such as Anwar himself, Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.
To note, in the PKR party elections held in April this year, Anwar won the presidency uncontested.
Anwar added that many of PKR’s state leaders, and previous deputy ministers during Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) time in government, were from the younger “second generation” of party members.
One of the students also asked if Anwar had the courage to step down from leadership in his party, if there was a younger leader who had “potential”.
Anwar said that he should not be compared to Dr Mahathir, as to him, politics was not “a battle of personalities” and that he is only seeking to make sure that the necessary reforms are made in the country.
“I was never given a chance to lead the country and effect reforms,” he said.