PM Lee congratulates Anwar, who confirms Barisan Nasional & Gabungan Parti Sarawak in his 'unity govt'

Anwar gave his first press conference as prime minister.

Sulaiman Daud | November 25, 2022, 12:12 AM

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has congratulated Anwar Ibrahim, the newly minted Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Anwar was sworn in as the 10th prime minister of Malaysia on Nov. 24, after days of protracted negotiations between the various coalitions and parties of Malaysia.

No single coalition managed to win enough seats to form a simple majority in parliament following the general election on Nov. 19.

Letter of congratulations

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), PM Lee congratulated Anwar and his coalition, Pakatan Harapan, for their "strong performance" in the general election.

Pakatan Harapan managed to win the most seats out of all the coalitions that stood for election, even though it did not win a majority outright.

PM Lee said that Anwar's premiership comes at a time of significant challenges in the regional and global environment.

"As close neighbours and friends, Singapore and Malaysia should work together to manage these challenges and explore new opportunities for cooperation," PM Lee said.

He highlighted the strong links and close ties between the two countries, including supporting each other through the Covid-19 pandemic.

PM Lee also mentioned Malaysia being a close partner of Singapore in Asean, and the importance of the organisation to stability in Southeast Asia amidst rising global tensions.

He concluded:

"I look forward to meeting you soon, to discuss the common issues facing our two countries and how we can further advance our bilateral relationship.

Ho Ching and I wish you and Dato’ Seri Dr Wan Azizah good health and happiness."

Anwar's wife, Wan Azizah, won her election contest in Bandar Tun Razak, which means she will also be a sitting Member of Parliament.

Anwar's press conference

During his first press conference as PM at around 9:00pm, Anwar acknowledged the message he received from PM Lee, thanking him and the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah.

He also took calls from Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey.

Anwar pledged to defend the rights and privileges of the Malays, the religion of Islam and the Malay royals, and also said that no Malaysian would be "marginalised" under his watch, regardless of their background, Malay Mail reported.

He confirmed that he would lead a government that includes his erstwhile opponent coalition, Barisan Nasional, and also Gabungan Parti Sarawak from East Malaysia, along with a number of other MPs, the New Straits Times reported.

However, he did not rule out the possibility of his other rival, former PM Muhyiddin Yassin and the Perikatan Nasional coalition, of supporting his "unity government".

Vote of confidence

Anwar set the date of the next Parliament sitting for Dec. 19, and following the swearing-in of the new MPs, the first motion to be tabled will be a vote of confidence in his government.

Anwar also said he intended to declare a public holiday on Monday (Nov. 28) with the assent of the king, which drew some of the biggest cheers from the crowd.

Anwar also reiterated his pledge not to receive a salary while he serves as PM.

He ended his press conference with a chant of "Reformasi" (Reformation), joined in by Wan Azizah and his supporters who were present.


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Top image from CNA's YouTube video.