East Malaysia holds the key for PKR’s takeover bid

>> Sunday, November 30, 2008


29 Nov, 08
From The Edge Dailyby Chua Sue-Ann
SHAH ALAM: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is casting their eyes towards Sabah and Sarawak in their bid to takeover the government, promising petrol royalties and greater East Malaysian participation in federal participation.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail told the party’s national congress today, “PKR is actively restructuring our operations and forging strong ties with the new generation of Sabahans and Sarawakians to ensure a better victory in the future.”

“We are committed to our promise of returning 20% of petroleum production proceeds in Sabah and Sarawak to the peribumi as well as giving them a more active role in the federal government if we govern the country,” she added. “I am confident that this marks the beginning of a movement for change in Sabah and Sarawak.“We promise an interesting performance at the Sarawak state election that will be held in 2009, god willing,” she said. Revisiting the 12th general elections, Wan Azizah lamented irregularities in the election process and lashed out at Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Today, we see BN component parties in disarray, pointing fingers and clawing among themselves because they have not recovered from the defeats but is still in a state of denial.
Calling the unprecedented election results “the people’s victory”, Wan Azizah said that it was a big moral defeat for the Barisan Nasional government and a result that has altered the landscape of Malaysian politics.

Wan Azizah said that if the Pakatan Rakyat alliance - which also includes DAP and PAS - was successful in capturing Sabah and Sarawak during the elections, they would have “certainly formed the federal government.”The Pakatan Rakyat needs to secure the crossover of at least 30 parliamentarians to form a simple majority and takeover the federal leadership, having won 82 of the 222 seats in the previous elections.

Wan Azizah also slammed the power transition plan from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to Deputy Prime MInister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.“The transfer of power will not bring any positive change in the breakdown of the country’s main governing institutions such as the judiciary, police force, anti-corruption agency and parliament,” she said. Meanwhile, Ngemah state assemblyman Gabriel Adit urged all PKR members to cooperate in increasing the party’s foothold in Sarawak, warning that BN is not easily defeated in that state.

“BN Sarawak is not weak, let me tell you, we have to strengthen ourselves,” he said. Adit contended on an independent ticket during the previous election and has since joined PKR, bringing with him almost 12,000 new members. PKR claims to have almost half a million members. Between four to five thousand people packed the Malawati Stadium this morning for the second day of PKR’s national congress, which comprised of 1927 registered delegates and 1200 observers.

Today’s session saw the attendance of prominent Pakatan Rakyat leaders, including PAS secretary-general Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, DAP chairman Karpal Singh, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) leader Datuk Yong Teck Lee. A surprise guest this morning was former minister in the prime minister’s department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim. Selangor chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim and Perak chief minister Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin were also present. PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was escorted into the stadium at 10.10am by a marching band and was greeted with a standing ovation, chants of “Reformasi” and a flurry of banners.


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