M’sia PM Anwar challenges previous leaders & tycoons to share 'half their wealth' with Malay community

He told them to give away what they have "hoarded".

Yen Zhi Yi | May 08, 2023, 05:45 PM

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Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim called on past leaders and billionaires in the country to “give half [their] wealth” to the Malay people if they were truly committed to helping the community, The Star reported.

Speaking at a Hari Raya open house event held at Universiti Teknologi Mara in Penang on May 6, Anwar lambasted both tycoons and past leaders for enriching their wealth while in power.

“I would like to tell these Tuns and Tan Sris who are multi-billionaires – you have taken much of the country's wealth, (now) give half of your wealth to the Malays.”

He name-dropped former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and ex-Financial Minister Daim Zainuddin as those who benefited while in power, according to the Malay Mail.

“Tun Daim or Tun Mahathir, I don’t care. No matter how much wealth you own, RM10 billion (S$1.91 billion) or RM15 billion (S$2.87 billion), if you want to say long live the Malays and fight for their rights, whatever it is you hoarded, return it back to the Malay people.”

Besides asserting that certain politicians had used their Malay rights to gain political advantage, Anwar also said that despite them reiterating that they wanted to help the Malay community, they ended up amassing wealth for themselves and their family.

Anwar vs Mahathir

Anwar’s speech came shortly after Mahathir filed a RM150 million (S$44.7 million) defamation suit against the former on May 5.

The former Prime Minister claimed that Anwar had defamed him by accusing him of enriching himself and his family during his time as Prime Minister.

Anwar had made the allegation on Mar. 18 in a speech at the 2023 PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) Special National Congress.

Mahathir later took to social media to challenge Anwar to show proof for his claims, before deciding to take legal action.

Mahathir's "Malay Proclamation"

Anwar's remarks came after leaders of the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) signed the “Malay Proclamation" which aims to “restore Malay dominance”, according to Malay Mail.

The proclamation is a 12-point document by Mahathir to uplift the Malay community in Malaysia, New Straits Times reported.

One of the signatories, PAS's Abdul Hadi Awang, denied that the proclamation is racist and claimed that the Malays were the "original race" in Malaysia.

This sparked rumours of alleged plans to topple Anwar’s government, to which the current Prime Minister responded and expressed confidence in his unity government being able to serve a full term, Bernama reported.

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Top images via Facebook/Anwar Ibrahim