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Gov't has not done enough to embolden moderates: Nurul Izzah

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Amid mounting politically charged racial-religious rhetoric, Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar (above) told Singapore's Straits Times she believed the Pakatan Harapan government has not done enough to embolden moderate views.

In a recent interview, Nurul Izzah noted that Harapan in the 14th general elections last year had failed to win over a majority of Malay support, and as such must engage the rural heartland. 

She, however, argued that there was a need for Harapan to change its approach, rather than "suddenly embracing the Malay agenda per se".

"We're not doing enough to embolden the middle. We're not doing enough to embolden those who are considered moderate," she was quoted as saying.

The former PKR vice-president also admitted to being dismayed by how Umno lawmakers are being courted to join Harapan over the last several months.

"It's a horrible predicament, not just for Keadilan, (but) for Malaysia, for their voters, for our voters, for Malaysians as a whole.

"It's just a sad state of affairs because I believe a two-coalition system is important for the future of Malaysia," she lamented.

Prime Minister and Bersatu chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad had, on March 15, officially accepted membership of four MPs, two senators and two state lawmakers - all of whom are former Sabah Umno members.

The latest entries into Bersatu mean the party now has 26 MPs, while Harapan will have 129 MPs.

BN had initially won 79 seats during GE14, but is now left with 41, after a string of floor crossings, either to the ruling coalition’s bench or another section of the opposition bench.

Despite her apparent frustration with the current state of affairs in government, Nurul Izzah told the Straits Times she still harboured hopes for a better, stronger Malaysia.

"For us to eventually survive and emerge stronger from this current racial, religious rut of extremities," she said, the government should take the lead in bridging differences among races, rather than stoking a further divide.

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