Anwar Rejects Malay Congress Call for Finance Minister’s Post Be Reserved for Muslims

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PKR president Anwar Ibrahim has disagreed with a resolution at yesterday’s Malay Dignity Congress that the finance minister post must be reserved for Muslims.

  • PAS wants the PM, DPM, MB, senior minister posts reserved for Muslims, along with CJ, AG, IGP, armed forces head, chief secretary to the government
  • PAS says important not to place non-Malays, non-Muslims in any of the government’s top positions, claiming that Islam was being threatened
  • Claims that non-Malay holder of finance minister post unprecedented are false; Malaysia’s first and second finance ministers were Tun Henry Lee Hau Shik and Tun Tan Siew Sin, respectively

The former finance minister stressed that the appointee should be selected based on his or her qualifications as opposed to skin colour.

“The finance minister should be someone who is qualified, competent and professional.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

“(Someone) who cares about the Malays and bumiputera as well as all Malaysians,” the Port Dickson MP told reporters at the Parliament lobby this afternoon.

Anwar, who held the portfolio from 1991 to 1998, was responding to a question on whether he agreed that the finance minister should be a Malay.

During the congress, PAS MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari submitted a resolution stating that the prime minister, deputy prime minister, menteri besar and senior minister posts be reserved for Muslims.

Apart from this, he also wanted Muslims as the chief justice, attorney-general, chief secretary to the government, inspector-general of police as well as to helm the armed forces.

Fadhil, who presented the religion cluster resolution, said it was important not to place non-Malays and non-Muslims in any of the government’s top positions, and claimed that Islam was being threatened.

Following the last general election, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad appointed DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng as the finance minister, constitutional expert Tommy Thomas as attorney-general and Richard Malanjum as chief justice.

Malanjum has since retired and was replaced with Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, the nation’s first woman chief justice.

Despite contemporary claims that non-Malay holders of the positions were unprecedented, Malaysia’s first and second finance ministers were Tun Henry Lee Hau Shik and Tun Tan Siew Sin.

They were the only non-Malays to have held the position prior to Lim.