REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim shared his vision on politics and leadership while addressing Indonesia's high-ranking officials, experts, scholars, and businessmen at a forum organized here on Wednesday. He asserted that political leaders must understand not only justice but also compassion.
In his speech, Ibrahim further highlighted the importance of affirmative action by political leaders to ensure equality and justice for the people. "What is leadership, if it is not meant to secure and protect the interests of the people," Ibrahim stressed during his second visit to Jakarta since Malaysia's presidential election in May.
Apart from echoing his views on political leadership, Ibrahim also expressed his forgiveness to former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak.
"The media has been awaiting my response over the arrest of former prime minister Nazib Razak. I personally have forgiven him. However, for all his unjust acts toward the people as well as his (corruption) scandal on 1MDB, it is beyond my reach. He (Nazib Razak) must be responsible for all his acts in the trial," Ibrahim stated in his keynote speech at the Executive Center for Global Leadership (ECGL) forum in Jakarta.
Ibrahim, who is also the leader of Malaysia's Pakatan Harapan coalition, stated that Razak's arrest has marked a new phase in the country's anti-corruption history. "For the first time ever, the former leader of Malaysia was detained for trial," he emphasized while reaffirming that the new Malaysian administration under Prime Minister Tun Mahathir will be committed to imposing strict measures in the face of the scandal.
"I believe the prime minister (Tun Mahathir) will assure SPRM (Malaysia's anti-graft body) is performing its tasks in probing the case. (From Razak's arrest) we must understand, everyone in power now has no immunity (against the law)," Ibrahim remarked.
Optimist on the stronger ties
Following the speech, Ibrahim, assisted by the founder of ECGL and Head of the Indonesia-Malaysia Business Council Tanri Abeng, also expressed optimism on stronger ties between both countries.
"The previous meeting of President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Tun Mahathir has sent across a positive message that the future ties between Malaysia and Indonesia will grow stronger than before," he noted after delivering a speech at the forum in Jakarta, Wednesday.
Ibrahim further expressed belief that the two countries appear committed to easing barriers in terms of exports and imports as well in other industries.
On a separate occasion, Tanri Abeng, Indonesia's former state-enterprises minister, revealed that Ibrahim's visit to Jakarta marked a positive message for the stronger ties between Indonesia and Malaysia.
"As a future leader of Malaysia, Ibrahim has been aware of Indonesia's political scene and economic conditions. His knowledge (of Indonesia) will contribute to the two countries' relations in future," Abeng emphasized.