In 2018, Melaka made history when they had their first-ever change of state government since Merdeka.
Though it was a short tenure due to the infamous ‘Langkah Sheraton’, the Pakatan Harapan state government and its Chief Minister Adly Zahari made the most of it.
An electrical engineer by profession, Adly joined Amanah in 2015 before contesting and winning the Melaka state seat of Bukit Katil in the 2018 General Elections.
During his time as Chief Minister, Adly made his mark by championing multiculturalism and embracing statewide anti-corruption measures.
The Melaka Consumer and Environment Association commended Adly for his creative style of festive greetings and the potential positive effects it could have on Melaka’s tourism industry.
“Our Chief Minister promotes Melaka as a kaleidoscope of cultural diversity in many areas,” said the association’s chairman K. Murali.
Ironically, what made Adly stand out from his opponents was his tendency to stay out of the limelight. He wasn’t one for making outlandish statements that would put him on the front page of newspapers or indulging in political brawls for the sake of cheap publicity.
Instead Adly worked quietly but diligently behind the scenes to make affordable housing a reality for the poorest in Melaka and spent his time helping small businesses get easy access to loans through the Amanah Finance House program.
Adly’s altruism has been recognized by many including Amanah President Mohamad Sabu who praised the statesman for displaying rahmatan lil aalamin (compassionate Islam)
Many of the Melaka’s social programs were focused on directly helping the people of Melaka — be it free busses, free weekend parking, subsidies for first home buyers, and other goodies like providing free milk and diapers for the underprivileged.
One of Adly’s most notable achievements was his ‘Kad Peduli Kesihatan’ which was aimed at giving B40 citizens access to treatment at private clinics. This initiative and other social programs were unfortunately stopped when the Pakatan Harapan state government fell.
Adly created a people-centric administration and opened up the lines of communication and accessibility between the people and the state government.
He conducted weekly meetings every Friday at Seri Bendahara called ‘Hari Bertemu Rakyat’ to get feedback and listen to any concerns citizens may have had.
He was committed to establishing a more transparent and democratic culture by implementing a two-term period for Chief Ministers and establishing MELCAT — an independent committee aimed at strengthening the state administration’s governance and integrity.
Additionally, it became a must for the Chief Minister, EXCO and State Assembly to take the pledge of being corruption-free as well as declare all their assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
His achievements are truly exceptional considering that all of it was done in the short span of twenty-two months.
For the country to thrive, it’s important that empathetic and compassionate politicians like Adly replace the power-hungry horde of leaders we have to currently contend with.