NEW DELHI – PKR president Anwar Ibrahim has praised Malaysia’s peaceful transition of power following the May 9 polls last year, but says it is not easy managing a coalition of vastly different individuals and parties.
In his valedictory address at the Raisina Dialogue geopolitical conference in New Delhi yesterday evening, he said Malaysia had entered a new era under Pakatan Harapan.
“The peaceful transition of power was nothing short of remarkable,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama. “And I strongly believe that one of the most important reasons for this exceptional phenomenon was our very firm and consistent policy on communal and race relations.
“If the world were to take one lesson from the Malaysian story, it is this. Mind you, managing a coalition of bitter rivals and different ethnicities and religions is, at times, Olympic in the effort required.”
On a wider scale, he said, the rise in jingoism and xenophobia was also posing a serious threat to international peace and security.
“The resurgence of ultra-nationalism is a global phenomenon. It is a precursor to fear and a present danger to peace and security.
“Extreme identity politics and polemics contribute to the conditions in which the seductive call to violence festers. We must reject it,” he said.
Anwar also spoke on a range of other issues including nationalism in Europe, communalism in India, the wars and conflict in the Arab region, and economic inequalities.
“We meet at a time of rising nationalism around the globe, fuelled by hydra-headed fear.
“The greatest fear is the fear of the other, of the motives, intentions and aspirations of people deemed to be different,” he said.
He also criticised the US-led wars in Middle Eastern countries, saying they had caused widespread destruction.
“We have endured misguided wars in Iraq and Libya and a never-ending campaign in Afghanistan, the consequences of which are wreaking havoc across this region and the world,” he said.