Anwar: Not easy to explain September 16
|Rahmah Ghazali | November 30, 2008|
|After keeping mum on the issue for over two months, Opposition Leader and PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim finally breaks his silence on the botched September 16 deadline he had set to topple the government.The former deputy premier also claims he has a back-up plan which will commence with the winning over of Sarawakians before the next state elections.
During his speech at the PKR congress in Shah Alam last night, Anwar said it is not easy to explain the September 16 issue.
“It is not easy for me to explain it. There are so many things that I cannot say. There are people who agreed to cross over but with a condition – reveal it only when they are ready,” he said.
Breaking into a song and drawing laughter from the some 3,000 people gathered, Anwar rendered: “Cakap salah, tak cakap salah, jadi semua serba salah, (It is wrong if I tell, it is wrong if I don’t tell, so all has become wrong).”
On the same note, he said the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat should set its sight on Sarawak and make it the ‘front line’ and stepping stone to forming a new federal government.
“When? (will the new government be formed). Just wait. For the time being, we will tackle Sarawak… and Sarawak is our new front line (to take over the government),” he added.
The Permatang Pauh MP also vowed that all his fellow opposition MPs from the peninsula will take turns to visit Sarawak every week.
Sarawak has become a hot topic at the PKR congress as the state elections may be held as early as next year.
Many delegates, including those from Sarawak, have urged PKR to pay extra attention to the state.
According to one Sarawakian delegate Wan Zainal Wan Yasin, a ‘surprise’ awaited Pakatan Rakyat in Miri and Kuching. However, he did not elaborate on this.
‘I am still confident’
Meanwhile, Anwar said he is still confident that the opposition alliance will form a new federal government.
The 61-year-old politician, however, stressed that this should be done in accordance with the law.
He also claimed that there were some BN MPs from Sarawak who had agreed to cross over and provided their signatures, but later attacked him out of fear.
Without revealing names, he said: “When I asked him (the MPs) why, he said he was scared of being suspicious, but I am confident as I was confident before the general election that a new government will be formed.”
He also stressed that Pakatan Rakyat has to set a new target and rebuild its strength following the Sept 16 episode.
Turning to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the opposition leader spoke of how the former had refused to entertain his request for a meeting.
“We had a letter signed by myself, (PAS president Abdul) Hadi (Awang) and (DAP leader) Lim Kit Siang to arrange a meeting with (Prime Minister) Abdullah, but he refused to do so.
“We had even asked for an emergency House session to table a motion of no-confidence but that also was not entertained,” he added.
Azizah slams power transition plan
|Rahmah Ghazali | November 29, 2008|
PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today slammed the March transition plan of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy, Najib Tun Razak, saying it would not bring any positive changes to the country.
During a policy speech at the PKR annual congress in Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam this morning, she told the 4000-strong crowd that the transition plan would only impact the nation in a negative way.
“We are here to stress that the transition plan between the prime minister and his deputy, Najib Abdul Razak will not make any positive changes to the damage that has been done to the judicial system, the police, the Anti-Corruption Agency and Parliament,” she said.
Wan Azizah, who is also former Permatang Pauh MP and the wife of PKR de-facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, said the transition plan would be “no different than the old regime”, referring to the tenure of Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“It will have so much similarities with the old regime, where the Internal Security Act and corruption were widely practised. The same regime also contributed to the terrible erosion of government institutions,” she added.
The transition plan, which was originally planned for June 2010, had to be pushed forward to next March after Abdullah was forced to review his departure date after losing support from Umno grassroots in the wake of the huge loses suffered by Barisan Nasional in the last general election.
Najib, who is Umno deputy chief, last month won the leadership of the ruling party unopposed, paving the way for him to be appointed prime minister next March.
Touching on the good relationship between the political parties in Pakatan Rakyat, Wan Azizah also reiterated PKR’s commitment to DAP and PAS, saying the opposition coalition would do all in its power to preserve the special position of the Malay rulers, Malays, Islam and Bahasa Melayu.
“In fact, we are willing to return royal immunity in the spirit of a constitutional monarchy. This is the real meaning of the change we are committed to bringing to the country,” she said.
However, she clarified in a press conference later that she was not talking about the restoration of royal immunity per se but restoring the power of the Agong in the law-making process.
According to Wan Azizah, she was referring to restoring the Agong’s power to reject a Bill in enacting a new law. At present, any bill that is not assented by the Agong will be passed in 30 days.
Growing support from Sabah and Sarawak
Wan Azizah today also vowed to pull off an “incredible performance” during Sarawak’s state election next year. She said PKR had thousands of new members, mostly from Sabah and Sarawak, a strong indication of winds of change sweeping the two states.
“If we were able to gain power in Sabah and Sarawak during the previous general election, we could have formed a new federal government by now. Insya’Allah this hope will materialise when the time comes,” said the 56-year-old politician.
She added that PKR was currently in the midst of strengthening the party’s relationship with the two states to “ensure a more successful future” with them.
“We are also committed to our promise – where 20 percent of petroleum and oil revenues in Sabah and Sarawak will be given back to the people.
“We also promise to give more pro-active roles to these states at the federal level if we are chosen to lead the country one day,” stressed Wan Azizah.
It is not often that I go Nusantara, except occasionally when the situation warrants. This is one of those occasions and I dedicate this set of my favorite picks to a very special lady. Her name is cik cun. She is sheen, gentle, smart and most engaging. There are thousands of cik cuns in Nusantara but none near the cik cun I know. She is somewhere out there. Please take care, cik cun. I am routing for you—DJ Din Merican
Malaysia’s Ella Fitzgerald–Adibah Noor–Terlalu Istimewa
Melly, Ruth and Shanty–Bunda: Dedicated to All Moms including my late Mother for being there for me
29 November 2008
Anwar Ibrahim Keynote Address at PKR 2008 Congress, 29 November 2008, Stadium Melawati, Shah Alam
I stand before you, humbled by your courage, overwhelmed by your loyalty, and inspired by your extraordinary feats. From a dark cell I felt your pain. I cried when your freedom was taken from you.
And today I share your pride and joy; that we are gathered here to celebrate the historic event our fellow Malaysians brought forth on March 8 – a Brave New Dawn.
I welcome the new faces among us. When we formed this party we knew a day would come when we would open our doors to a flood of Malaysians joining us on this noble mission. Your presence marks the beginning of a new phase for our party and for our nation.
I marvel at the support we have earned from our nation’s youth and women. You have given us hope that Malaysia’s future will fall into the hands of a generation that cherishes democracy and will continue the fight for freedom and justice.
With this Congress we embark on a major exercise to refocus and reorganize the party to reach new levels of discipline and new heights of effectiveness. We will take steps to ensure that our call for justice is heard loud and clear from the northern reaches of Perlis to the southern tip of Johor and all the way to the shores of Sabah and Sarawak.
Yet it was not too long ago that many believed this party had no future. They poured scorn on our aspirations and laughed at our dreams. Some even said we would just disappear!
They said multi-racial politics were impossible and our vision for a unified nation had all but expired. There are some whose conviction wavered and who believed that the ship upon which we were sailing may not reach its destined shore. To those who harbor doubt I say: trust in the wisdom of the people and trust not the pundits and cynics bent on supporting a corrupt and decadent establishment.
The desire for change is unstoppable. The people can no longer tolerate the abuses of the current government that affront us each day. The prevailing order prevails no more.
Never in the country’s history have Malaysians in such great numbers exercised their right to vote out of office such an entrenched institution. Never before have the people set aside their racial and religious identities and called in a single voice for a Brave New Dawn.
Our successes in 2008 are immense and we should be immensely proud. After two successful elections we have a proven that the Pakatan Rakyat coalition is strong and unified, working together hand-in-hand for change.
We have also witnessed a government under siege and a ruling party in disarray. We have seen them strangle and suffocate the democratic process and we have seen them ignore the crisis of an economy in turmoil.
Yes there have been setbacks. We skirted with destiny on September 16 and despite our best efforts our march to victory has been delayed. I empathise with you and with the people of Malaysia. We are all forced to further endure the slings and arrows of an incompetent government that has lost touch with the people. Although our promise has not yet been fulfilled, the Pakatan Rakyat leaders and I remain committed to the agenda for change and our tenacity has never been stronger.
I call upon you to aspire — as only we united in our quest can — to A Brave New Dawn: Where every child has the right to quality education and every family feels safe at home and in their streets. Where we can believe what we read in the newspapers and what we watch on the television. Where the country’s leaders will be honest, where justice prevails and where judges cannot be bribed.
I ask of you first as Malaysians and second as members of KeADILan, let us prepare ourselves with a renewed resolve and the courage of conviction that with our efforts a thousand flowers of freedom will yet bloom in Malaysia.
To my fellow citizens in the Pakatan States, you have humbled me with your support and I thank you. I say to you – let us work together to bring forth a new order and a better quality of life; a new measure of confidence in the accountability of government. I ask you to bear with us; the challenges we face cannot be overcome in a single month and some may take more than a year to redress. Much has been accomplished already, and soon our State Governments will report regularly their accomplishments and their plans for the continued development of our states.
To those living outside the Pakatan States the task before you is formidable. You believe in KeADILan and you believe that with Pakatan Rakyat the future of the country can be great. Yet you live in the stronghold of Barisan Nasional. We need your unwavering commitment and we need you to work harder than ever before so that Pakatan Rakyat’s banner can be raised throughout Malaysia.
We in Pakatan Rakyat will continue to protect the rights of every Malaysian including the Malays and Bumiputeras, and strive to bring forth greater quality of life for all. We will reach out to our friends in Sabah and Sarawak – Ibans, Kadazans, Dayaks. Your cry for help has been ignored. We in Pakatan Rakyat say we hear you and we will support you.
Members of Keadilan: Your work has brought our people together. Look around you. Our ancestors might not come from the same place. But we are citizens of this nation and we each want this country to move in the same direction to make it a better home for our children and grandchildren who – we hope – will be living together peacefully. And for them we wish a nation that is prosperous where they can obtain a good education and find a decent job to support their families.
These are Malaysian problems. They are not just Malay, Chinese, Indian, Iban, Dayak or Kadazan problems. They are ones that affect Sabah and Sarawak the same way that they matter to people living in Selangor, Penang, Kelantan or Johor. They are problems that we all face, day after day. And will continue to face them unless we work harder for change.
Today our nation is confronted with monumental challenges. The economy is in virtual crisis. Violent crime in our cities and villages has never been more pervasive. More Malaysians are jobless, or will lose their jobs in the coming year than ever before in our history. Our education system is crumbling just like the buildings in which our children attend school. Billions are wasted every year in blatant corruption while the poor and marginalized are left hoping for some reprieve.
We have called this gathering to celebrate our success but I am now calling you to arms. Let us renew our commitment. Let us resolve to build on what has been accomplished this year and make Malaysia great once again.
Let us fulfill our promise to our friends in Pakatan Rakyat, DAP and PAS, to build a strong partnership. We have shared aspirations for the country and we are stronger as a coalition than the sum of our parts. Together we will win the hearts and minds of the entire nation.
|Anwar stays mum over September 16, 2008|
|Beh Lih Yi | November 29, 2008|
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim did not offer any new explanation over his failure to topple the Barisan Nasional-led federal government at the annual PKR congress today.
Anwar, who is also PKR de facto leader, did not explain why the takeover did not happen during his much-awaited speech – which lasted for about 20 minutes – at the congress this morning.
He merely touched on the subject in passing at the outset of his speech, admitting that the change the opposition promised the rakyat would take place on September 16 is yet to happen.
“Our wish to change the government is not about personal political ambition or greed. We want a just system, an independent judiciary and a professional police force.
“Despite all the sabotage and plotting (towards the Sept 16 plan), our desire to bring about a new dawn for Malaysia will never be quashed,” he told a 4,000-strong crowd at the Malawati stadium in Shah Alam, Selangor.
He later moved on to other topics, including the economy and the Sarawak state elections.
He evaded the press conference too
In a copy of his speech distributed to reporters, Anwar conceded there were setbacks to his plan but said the party’s “march to victory” had merely been delayed.
He did not explain the reasons in the written speech, which he did not read out at the congress.
The 61-year-old ex-deputy premier also evaded a press conference held during a break later. The media session was instead attended by his wife, party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and a few other party leaders.
Many were expecting Anwar to issue a proper explanation at the congress over his failure to meet his self-imposed deadline of toppling the BN-led federal government.
Prior to September 16, Anwar had consistently said he had enough BN lawmakers to defect to the opposition alliance, Pakatan Rakyat, and obtain a simple majority to form government.
Following his failure to topple the government, the PKR leader merely attributed the reasons to purported harassment from the authorities on those who intended to defect to Pakatan but did not reveal any names or details on the ‘defectors’.
Party deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali at the opening of the party’s Youth and Women’s wings meet yesterday said Anwar and Wan Azizah would explain on the September 16 plan today.
However, Wan Azizah also did not offer any explanations in her policy speech this morning.
Despite the lack of an explanation this morning, party officials and Wan Azizah said Anwar will elaborate on the matter at a ceramah (political talk) at the stadium tonight.
Vice-president Azmin Ali said the explanation will be made at the ceramah instead of the official congress because “the ceramah is also part of the congress”.
New target – Sarawak state election
Meanwhile, in his speech, Anwar said the party will mobilise its big guns to Sarawak to start preparing for the Sarawak state election.
He said a rally is being planned next month in the state to kick off the party’s campaign.
Party officials said they expect the state election to be called by June next year, although it is officially not due until 2011.
“Hopefully there will be change in Sarawak and hopefully, there will be a bigger change in the country,” he said, before ending his speech.
Anwar’s speech was preceded by speeches from several multi-racial leaders including former MCA Wanita leader Tan Yee Kew and Sarawak’s Ngemah state assemblyperson Gabriel Adit. Adit, who was an independent state assemblyperson, joined PKR early this month.
source: The Malaysian Insider
By Debra Chong
SHAH ALAM, Nov 28 – PKR’s No. 2 told its youth and women’s wings members to shape up and reach out to the growing number of Malaysians looking for a multiracial and multi-religious party to represent their needs in a changing world.
Dr Syed Husin Ali told the two wings that now was not the time to rest on their laurels even though they had won big at the March general elections as the victory came from the people’s support rather than the party’s own efforts.
“They gave a clear message that the party which implements policies, runs campaigns and acts to fight for one community and denies the rights of other communities will not be accepted,” he said.
He added: “They gave a clear indication that parties such as Umno, MCA and MIC are only waiting to be buried.”
Syed Husin said that its political rivals, especially Umno, was fanning racial and religious fires because they were threatened by the opposition’s climb to power in five states.
He reminded them that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) plan to take over the federal government was still on track even though the leadership was keeping quiet on when it will happen.
“The lesson learnt is that we talk about it, it alerts undesirable elements,” the deputy president said at PKR’s annual general meeting for its youth and women wings here today.
In sober tones, the party elder told the 1,000-strong crowd to seriously examine themselves to raise the quality of the membership and party.
He stressed that the party did not only want more members but thinking members who could fight for justice for all.
“I fervently hope Wanita and Angkatan Muda prepare themselves to face the challenges ahead.
“We must not disappoint the rakyat after they gave us their trust to lead the government of our beloved country,” Syed Husin ended.
Stadium Melawati, Shah Alam, Selangor
November 28, 2008
I joined the Press corps this morning (November 28, 2008) at Stadium Melawati, Shah Alam, Selangor for the Official Opening of “Kongres Wanita dan Angkatan Muda Parti KeADILan Rakyat 2008“. It was formally launched by PKR’s Deputy President Dr. Syed Husin Ali.
Dr. Syed Husin’s address to the delegates was inspiring and very upbeat yet heart rendering. He recounted the difficulties the party faced in finding a suitable venue for its annual congress. Since its first congress in Ipoh in 2004, PKR had to meet in many places and under very tense circumstances. He added, “[Di] mana ada hotel yang berani menyewakan dewannya, kita bersidang di hotel. Akan tetapi dimana tidak ada hotel yang berani atau tidak tahan ugutan dari pihak-pihak tertentu, kita tidak putus harapan. Mujurlah ada tokong Budhis atau sekolah Cina yang berani dan bermurah hati menyewakan dewan mereka”.
He went on to say “[B]egitu juga, dulu bendera yang kita kibarkan sempena beberapa kongres yang lalu sering diragut turun oleh pihak penguatkuasa majlis bandaran atas arahan UMNO-BN yang memerintah. Tetapi hari ini kita gembira kerana beribu bendera Parti terus berkibar di sampang bendera negeri dan Jalur Gemilang (the Malaysian Flag) di sepanjang jalan ke mari (to Stadium Melawati)” [Applause].
He added that “[S]aya percaya kerajaan PAKATAN tidak akan membalas dendam dengan mengarahkan mana-mana jabatan menurunkan bendera UMNO dan parti-parti sekutunya apabila mereka mengadakan perhimpunan tahunan. Saya yakin pimpinan kerajaan kita tidak berhati kecut seperti para pemimpin kerajaan yang korup dan tidak adil , yang kita ganti.”
The PKR Deputy President touch on many issues which affect the party, Pakatan Rakyat and our country. He in particular touched on race based politics (ketuanan melayu).
He said that UMNO Malays think that only UMNO can redeem the fate of the Malays and added that” [M]ereka lupa dan menafikan hakikat bahawa selama 50 tahun memerintah, pemimpin Melayu dari UMNO lah yang paling banyak bertanggungjawab merampas hak orang Melayu dan merompak kekayaan negara…Mereka membenarkan sebahagian besar orang Melayu yang miskin dan berpendapatan rendah terus terbiar atau terpinggir”. In order to further enrage the Malays,”…mereka (UMNO) mengbangkitkan bermacam-macam isu” in Penang, Perak and Selangor, said the PKR Deputy President.
Please read the malaysiakini report (below). The party congress begin tomorrow ( November 29,2008) with Ucapan Dasar by PKR’s President Datuk Seri Wan Azizah binti Wan Azizah. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will also address delegates later that day. —Din Merican
PKR: There will be change of government
|Beh Lih Yi & Fauwaz Abdul Aziz | November 28, 2008|
PKR has revived its ambition of toppling the BN federal government, saying its failure to take over as promised on September 16 did not mean it will fail to do so forever.
If (the power transfer) is not tomorrow, it will be the day after tomorrow; if it is not in the near future, it will be in the 13th general election (due 2013),” PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali declared today.
Opening the annual congress of the party’s Youth and Women’s wings this morning, the party’s No 2 conceded a lot of people were “disappointed” when the much-talked about Sept 16 plan did not take place.
However, he blamed the powers-that-be for allegedly using underhanded tactics and asserting pressure on BN lawmakers who were purportedly planning to defect to the opposition, such as monitoring their movements through the police Special Branch.
Anwar says he is in ‘no hurry’
Syed Husin also claimed these purported defectors were offered a big sum of money for them to stay within the BN although they had given an undertaking in black-and-white that they would defect to the opposition.
“Pakatan Rakyat’s attempt to meet with the prime minister (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) to discuss the transition of power was also rejected.
“In view of all these obstacles, the power transfer has yet to be carried out. However, this does not mean it will never happen,” he told 900 delegates gathered at the indoor Stadium Malawati in Shah Alam, Selangor, where the three-day congress is held from today.
Syed Husin also criticised a small group of party members who were taken in by the ‘propaganda’ mooted by certain media to believe that Anwar had lied to them on the take over plan.
“Not many people believed this propaganda. Unfortunately, I see a small group of PKR members, including Youth and Women, believed this cheap propaganda,” he pointed out.
He added that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would elaborate on the matter in their speeches at the parent body’s congress tomorrow.
The Youth and Women’s wings meetings, are being held simultaneously today.
The national congress is the first since the opposition party’s powerful showing in the March polls.
From one parliamentary seat in 2004, the multiracial party gained significantly from widespread voter disillusionment and resentment to win 31 parliamentary seats.
Under Pakatan, which includes Chinese-based DAP and Islamic party PAS, the opposition won 81 parliamentary seats and took power in five states.
After the general election, Anwar repeatedly claimed that he had secured enough BN defectors to form the federal government through a simple majority.
However, he missed the declared deadline of September 16 and has recently played down the possibility of a takeover, saying that he was in “no hurry” to topple BN.
In his speech, Syed Husin also called on the people to be wary of certain quarters bent on stirring up racial sentiments after the last general election.
He said these tactics were targetted at the leadership in the five states ruled by Pakatan.
“This small group of people claim that Malay supremacy is under threat just because they see a slight increase of the non-Malay role (in the administration). They see from their narrow-minded perspective that only the Malays from Umno can defend Malay rights.
“They have forgotten and dismissed the fact that Malay leaders from Umno were those responsible for taking away Malay rights and robbed this nation of its wealth,” he charged.
Touching on the two PKR wings, Syed Husin said their representation among the party’s elected representatives is not as high as the party had hoped it would be.
Among its 31 MPs, only three are from the Women’s wing and four from the Youth wing, he said.
He said he hoped to see more women representatives in state assemblies in future.
At a press conference later, Syed Husin conceded that the party has learnt a lesson over the Sept 16 plan and emphasised that the plan was still on the party’s agenda.
“It’s very much on (the agenda). We talk less about it but we do more about it, the lesson we have learnt is when we talk about it, it alerts a lot of undesirable elements (to the plan).
“Not that we shouldn’t talk about it, (it’s just that) we don’t talk much about announcing the date or announcing the takeover,” he told reporters.
“September 16 was the beginning of the process, it was not the beginning or end of everything. It’s the beginning of the process and the process is still going on, it could happen at anytime,” he said.
According to Syed Husin, the party has received over 100,000 new membership applications over the past few months after the last general election.
He was also asked to comment on PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin’s statement yesterday that some Pakatan-led state governments did not accommodate the Youth members in the government-linked companies (GLCs) in order for them to play a more significant role.
Syed Husin has earlier in his opening speech called on the Women and Youth members to be more active.
“I was not talking about accommodation (of Youth into GLCs). I was talking about activities within the party and the masses, you can’t accommodate everybody to the sort of things that you mentioned, certainly we encourage our members to be more active on the ground,” he told reporters.
On his speech on a small group of grassroots leaders who were “dominating” the decision-making process at the divisional and state level, he said: “These are some legacy of leadership that is not good. It’s now slowly being improved upon.”