Corruption making inroads into Pakatan Harapan, warns Anwar

(CNA) – The Pakatan Harapan (PH) ruling coalition has begun to show signs of being gripped by corruption, Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim warned on Thursday (May 16).

Speaking after breaking fast with Muslim non-governmental organisations, the prime minister-in-waiting noted that several PH leaders were seen enjoying lavish lifestyles shortly after the coalition pulled a shock electoral victory last year.

“The public will become cynical about whether the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will take action against the leadership,” he was quoted as saying by the Star.

Mr Anwar said the seeds of corruption were now found within PH, not just Barisan Nasional. He did not name specific politicians.

He said that people should not blindly support PH, adding that it was imperative for party members to speak out against leaders who had gained sudden wealth.

“We must uphold idealism, defend the principle of struggle, and not tolerate bribery, misappropriation, and (illegitimate) transfer for personal and family wealth.

“This is already happening in PH,” he said, according to the Malaysian Insight.

Mr Anwar also urged civil society to be more vocal in reminding leaders against display of wealth.

In his speech, Mr Anwar also said he would like to be a leader who upholds Islamic principles when he takes over as the prime minister.

“We will also show concern and love towards our brothers and sisters among non-Muslims, the Christians and Hindus, as they are loyal to us,” the Port Dickson lawmaker said.

PH won the last general election on an anti-corruption platform, campaigning hard on the allegations of fraud and misconduct in state sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

In pledging clean governance, it has asked all ministers, deputy ministers, lawmakers and political secretaries to declare their wealth to the MACC.

However, it has not been immune to graft allegations.

In August last year, the MACC was investigating claims of an aide to Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu receiving RM80,000 (US$19,167) from several parties to clear his status as a bankrupt.

A month later, a report was lodged with the MACC accusing the political secretary of Works Minister Baru Bian of allegedly abusing his position by promising contracts and allocations to local PKR leaders.

Last month, the political secretary of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub was remanded for allegedly receiving a bribe in the form of a luxury watch.