Anwar: Focus on big issues, not squabble over bak kut teh, canteens

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Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim today reminded Malaysians that they must focus on important issues like building up the economy and attracting investments.

He lamented that he had returned from a successful foreign trip to Germany to find that Malaysia’s headlines were dominated by petty squabbles.

“I discussed the issue of investment (abroad) but back in Malaysia we see the issue of the recognition of bak kut teh (as a national heritage food) and keeping school canteen operating during Ramadan.


“They were heatedly discussed as if it is a life and death issue of our dignity. This is the situation,” said Anwar in a speech in conjunction with his meeting with members of the Prime Minister’s Department at Dewan Seri Endon today.

Anwar also urged leaders and the people to focus on debate and discussion for a healthier and fresher discourse.

According to Bernama, the prime minister also reminded Muslims to embrace the spirit of Ramadan by strengthening self-discipline and being kind to the less fortunate.

He said that Ramadan is also a “madrasah” to strengthen faith, morals and discipline.

“That’s why there are scholars who say Ramadan examines wider ethical issues…and of course self-discipline.”

Anwar added that if the spirit of Ramadan was more present in life, the country’s problems would be more manageable and its success could be better conveyed to the outside world.

Earlier, he hailed his recent visit to Germany as a remarkable success, attributing it to the teamwork of the public service.

“Investors perceived us to be much more efficient, quick in decision-making, and without any leakage. I also met several major companies that agreed to invest immediately.

“Their views on the government’s policies, leadership and civil servants were highly positive,” said Anwar. – Malaysiakini