PUTRAJAYA, Feb 7 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today called on civil servants to set aside differences and work together for the good of the country, using his own past relationship with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as food for thought.
Speaking at the Prime Minister’s Department’s monthly assembly this morning, Anwar said that despite their past encounters, he and Zahid currently had a united purpose which is to save the country.
“Looking at my colleagues and team, although we have different backgrounds and have a history of clashing ideas and were involved in significant confrontations, particularly with the deputy prime minister on my right, it can’t be denied that now a unified ideology and determination exists,” he said at the Puspanitapuri De’ Seri Endon Hall here.
Zahid was standing next to the prime minister, wearing a faint smile during the speech.
Umno president Zahid was formerly Anwar’s political foe but banded together as Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional formed the coalition government following the 15th general election.
Anwar also said that although there were “undeniable successes” by the government and its departments these past few months, there was still a need to focus on improvement.
“I see that there is a desire from friends, whether in leadership or public servants, to take steps faster and more responsibly. That every sen we spend we will use responsibly.
“But still, at the enforcement level, I see that there is some negligence, which if not handled, will cause the public to be unsettled,” he said.
Among the “successes” Anwar cited was his recent announcement regarding initiatives to speed up the bolstering of the workforce with foreign workers and Zahid’s handling of several flood-related issues around the country.
He also referenced the sending of a Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) to assist with search and rescue (SAR) in Turkey, after the country was hit by a 7.4 Richter scale earthquake yesterday.