Anwar needs to sweep out his advisors and start with a clean slate


The dismissal of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) chief strategic communications officer Wan Nurzila Abd Rahman is only a symptom of much deeper problems. Local media is touting interpersonal issues as the reason for her dismissal. Others around Putrajaya are talking about internal disagreements, flip flopping, and internal politics.

There is also talk that some around Anwar are losing confidence in him and creating a toxic work environment within the PMO. Others are talking about the arrogance of some of Anwar’s private secretaries, that is counterproductive to Anwar’s cause. Still others are reporting the seeds of corruption and abuse of power are starting to germinate within the PMO, which needs to be nipped in the bud.

Anwar is already plagued with an unproductive cabinet, which is finding it very difficult to make wise and sound decisions within their portfolios. Ministers actually need to solve problems. To have these similar issues around Anwar’s inner circle is alarming, especially with 6 state elections, just around the corner.

The problem is not Anwar the man, but the poor advice given to him within the cocoon of the PMO. This leaves Anwar with little choice. He must get out the metaphorical broom and sweep the PMO clean.

Loyalty is one thing. Anwar doesn’t need yes people. He needs people who will tell him the truth, without fear or favour.

Anwar must quickly clean out his advisors before things get out of control. He must go back to his reformasi days, and get the assistance of those who were around him during those days. He must select those who always told him the truth, even if the truth is sometimes difficult to accept.

The cost of employing yes people will be the end of his administration. The administration’s problems are much deeper than just a cabinet reshuffle, most of the advisors must go too. Otherwise, Anwar’s administration will travel along a track of ineffectiveness and unpopularity, pleasing no one. Pakatan Harapan’s urban support base will just not go out to vote. While rural voters will vote for alternatives.

Government administration should not be about individuals accumulating power from their offices. Government administration must be about policy, which the Anwar government needs desperately.

Much of Wan Nurzila’s dismissal was concerned about the Madani message not getting out there. However, before the Madani message can go out, it must have deep substance, which no one has seen yet.

The dismissal of Wan Nurzila lets us know that Anwar knows there is a problem. Malaysians hope that Anwar can now go the full way and drain the swamp that is sucking him under.