Anwar: Vital to have new blood, experienced people
SINGAPORE: It is important to have “new blood” of leaders joining hands together with a successor generation, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He said this to Yang Razali Kassim, Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, in an interview titled “In Conversation With Anwar Ibrahim”.
This is part of an RSIS series on Malaysia’s 14th General Election and its aftermath.
Yang Razali posted a scenario to Anwar, asking: “When you take over as prime minister, do you see it important to have a new generation of leaders with you, the successor generation of leaders?”
Anwar said: “It’s only natural. We need to have some people with experience and we have to inject new blood. We need to do that.
“(Compare) the strength that you see in PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) with the BN (Barisan Nasional) parties of those days. We have young leaders entrusted with key positions in the party, in Parliament, in Selangor in particular, given that experience and exposure.
“Not necessarily positions in government but you see in the party, in Parliament, people in their 30s and 40s,” he said.
On young leaders who are likely to be going forward with him in the new era, without naming anyone, Anwar said : “You can pick at random.”
“Ten to 15 members of Parliament who are competent. You have seen them debate, you have seen them work. You have seen them articulating issues.”
Anwar said he was quite impressed with the core of 10-15 people to choose from.
“I am talking about the second tier of leaders, or younger. The senior leaders, of course, are known. So, unlike in other parties, in PKR, some key positions are assigned to younger leaders.”
Anwar said Malaysia was not having difficulty hiring the right people to lead key institutions.
Yang Razali posted a scenario to Anwar, saying: “The road to New Malaysia has come with some collateral damage. For example, in the economy, there’s been a shake-up of Khazanah, an important institution as a sovereign wealth fund. As a result, it is said, there’s been some loss of talent. Industry people say they have difficulty hiring the right people to lead key institutions. How do you think this can be addressed?”
Anwar replied: “I do not share that view. Any prime minister who assumes office will have every right to make changes. Most countries have that. Some (who have left) are competent people. They will survive in the private sector in their new positions.”