Important to have ‘new blood’ in party leadership, says Anwar

Important to have ‘new blood’ in party leadership, says Anwar

SINGAPORE,. It is important to have ‘new blood’ of leaders joining hands together with a successor generation, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s in-waiting Prime Minister.

Anwar said this to Yang Razali Kassim, Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, “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?”

In his response, 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.”

“The strength that you see in PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) compared to the BN (Barisan Nasional) parties of those days, we have these 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 the 30s and 40s,” he said.

Anwar, PKR president-elect and de facto leader of the governing Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition in Malaysia has recently chosen the Port Dickson seat to pave the way for his political re-entry.

On who are the 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 MPs who were competent. You have seen them debate, you have seen them work. You have seen them articulating issues,” he said.

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 the younger leaders,” he said.

On whether he sees young leaders as well in the other parties,” Anwar said : “You see more in the DAP (Democratic Action Party) too. The rest are relatively newer parties.”

PH coalition is made up of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) , PKR, DAP, and Parti Amanah Negara.

On Malaysia’s National Day recently, Anwar received Yang Razali at his office near Kuala Lumpur.

The full version of his “In Conversation With Anwar Ibrahim” was released at

RSIS was officially inaugurated on Jan 1, 2007 with its goal is to be a leading research and graduate teaching institution in strategic and international affairs in the Asia Pacific. — Bernama