Anwar: I'm not on holiday, overseas trips solely for Malaysia's welfare

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim made clear that his recent official visit abroad, including to Germany, was solely for Malaysia's welfare, refuting allegations of engaging in leisurely pursuits levelled against him.

Anwar said that certain quarters' accusations of misusing power and government funds for "holidaying abroad" are unfounded.

"I, as the prime minister, (and) (Deputy Prime Minister) Zahid (Hamidi) is [sic] also subjected to criticism. We face a barrage of allegations, from misuse of government authority to extravagant spending, including the use of government aircraft for what's perceived as leisure trips abroad.

"My dear colleagues... I cannot justify these claims, but trust me, I did not even venture out to explore any shops during my five-day stay in Germany. My sole focus was attending meetings only.

"Contrary to misconceptions, I did not skip a day of meetings to indulge in golf on the second day... that's an outdated tradition.

"I managed to squeeze in a brief stroll during some free time after official engagements. I sincerely apologise if that's deemed inappropriate," he said during today's Prime Minister's Department monthly assembly.

He said during his meetings with various corporate leaders on trips to China, Australia, and Germany, they praised the improving efficiency of the country's public service delivery.

"I would like to urge all of you, especially public servants, that the image of our performance is highly positive. It's not just one or two companies I've met (with) in Germany, China, or other places; their views towards us are very favourable.

"For example, Infineon, which has been long-established in our country, and many other companies have admired our newfound discipline, praised our innovative approaches, and appreciated our requests.

"I firmly believe that if we focus our efforts, within just a few years, we can restore our nation's dignity. We have lagged in digital transformation and energy transition, critical national priorities."

Anwar recently made his maiden visit to Germany for six days since taking office in November 2022.

The prime minister began his series of programmes on March 11 with a visit to the Siemens Energy plant in Berlin, followed by a courtesy visit to Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at Bellevue Palace, who visited Malaysia in February last year.

Before that, Anwar departed from Melbourne for Canberra as part of his back-to-back official visits to Australia at the invitation of the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Australia is a close and essential partner for Malaysia, and both countries have deep cooperation in various sectors, including education, trade, investment, defence, cybersecurity, and science and technology.

In 2023, Malaysia and Australia's bilateral trade stood at US$18.57 billion (RM84.64 billion), solidifying Australia as Malaysia's 10th largest trading partner.

As of December last year, Australia had approved investments in Malaysia involving 582 projects, with realised investments involving 366 projects.

Before visiting Australia's capital city, Anwar concluded a four-day official visit to Melbourne.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories