Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wan Azizah wants members to go back to the basics of 'justice for all'. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Yesterday PKR ended it's AGM at Stadium Melawati Shah Alam. It was interesting what was said by their leaders. They talk about multiracial approach and embracing it as part of the party dogma. As expected Anwar is still the adviser and his membership to the party was not discuss but he is we all know, the de facto leader whose membership I still doubt. They forget or purposely forgotten their MP Zukifli Noordin tirade and action which go against the idea advocate above. As usual in the case his action was not discuss and forgotten and as usual it was swept under the carpet. Where is the principle that is so sorely missing. I supported UMNO although I am not a member because I could live with a Malay party. I am a Malay thus it would be foolish if I try to be something else. I do frown on people like Zulkifli but i do not fool myself that I am ready to embrace multiracial ideas. If it lessen me in the eyes of my friends I am sorry but at least I am not a hypocrite which according to a hadiths is one of the characteristic of a Munafik. So to me if the party is really serious about the multiracial approach do make a stand on your members who is a Member Parliament thus must at all times outwardly portray that idea. Below this is a comment I posted on the news and I was happy it got aired. At least Malaysia Insider is fair.

Wan Azizah says Najib will be no different from Dr M

By Debra Chong

SHAH ALAM, Nov 29 – PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail today likened the incoming administration of Datuk Seri Najib Razak to something "which is no different from the old regime" of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Articulating a widely held view that the impending departure of Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi next March has already seen a return of "Mahathirism," she said the new administration will bear many similiarities with that of Dr Mahathir's.

She told more than 2,000 party faithful assembled for the PKR congress here that she expected more arrests under the Internal Security Act (ISA), more corruption and the continued erosion of public institutions, all of which she said were the hallmark of the Mahathir era.

"The transition plan between the prime minister and his deputy will not bring any positive changes to the damage done to the judiciary, the police, the Anti-Corruption Agency and parliament," she said.

The PKR No.1 also reminded party members to go back to the basic principle of fighting for "justice for all" now that the opposition was only one step away from defeating the formidable Barisan Nasional government.

She said that the party must lead the opposition towards forming the next federal government. She noted that the half a million-strong multiracial and multireligious party held a very important position in the three-party opposition.

Welcoming a large group of delegates and observers from Sabah and Sarawak, she stressed it needed to grow stronger and include all the different races and places.

Wan Azizah said she expected the party to pull off what she said would be an incredible performance at next year's Sarawak state election

"The party constitution must be updated and its leadership more visionary, sensitive and responsible," the party president told a stadium full of delegates and observers at its fifth national congress here today.

The soft-spoken lady then announced a special party convention for next February, to take place just before Abdullah's promised handover of office to Najib.

Wan Azizah said that PKR must lead the opposition in forming the next federal government even though it was younger than Pas and DAP.

The party is only 10 years old but it has half a million members, she said, adding that a large number of Malaysians had given it their votes in the last general elections because they believed in its multicultural message.

The March victory had united the opposition, giving them more chances to truly represent the people, said Wan Azizah. While Pakatan Rakyat has yet to be made a formal coalition, she said it was commited to fight for the rights of all races.

They had signed a "communique" affirming their commitment to the provisions in the Federal Constitution including the positions of the Malay rulers, the special status of Malays, the national language and Islam, she said.

"We are even ready to restore the immunity of the rulers based on the spirit of Constitutional Monarchy," Wan Azizah declared.

Dubbed "Ibu Reformasi", the wife of Opposition icon Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim stressed the party must grow stronger and include all the different races and places.

PKR plays up multiracial message

SHAH ALAM, Dec 1 - When the Umno general assembly was aired live on TV two years ago, many Malaysians were so taken aback by the shrill Malay rhetoric that the brief experiment with openness was quickly aborted.

Comparisons will surely be drawn between Umno and its archrival Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), which decided to air its own congress, held over the weekend, live over the Internet.

The tone, however, was starkly different. A Malay-based multiracial party led by former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim, the PKR stuck to a multiracial line even as it accused Umno of stirring up racial feelings.

Many delegates, starting with party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, spoke emphatically about the need to press on with multiracialism.

To many Malaysians, it was refreshing to hear a Malay lamenting that bright Chinese students could not get scholarships and that Tamil schools had been deprived of land.

The three-day congress showcased the multiracial message which had reverberated so well with voters that it had helped sweep the opposition to unprecedented wins in the March general election.

The spoils of victory were more than evident. The gathering was held at a stadium in Shah Alam, the capital of Selangor. The state is now governed by the Pakatan Rakyat alliance, which is made up of three parties
including PKR.

The gathering took on a carnival feel. A bazaar sold food and PKR memorabilia. Speeches by PKR leaders were distributed in booklets, not photocopied sheets.

PKR now has 31 MPs and 42 state assemblymen; in 2004, it boasted just one of each. It now claims a membership of 500,000.

"Today, we no longer have problems getting a place for our meetings," said deputy president Syed Husin Ali, recalling the early years when hotels dared not rent premises to PKR.

The congress, the first to be held since the March election, celebrated the party's achievements. But it also revealed the first signs of the difficulties that the party is facing in managing its success.

In some ways, the timing of the event - held two months after the much-publicised failure of Datuk Seri Anwar to seize power after he had set a Sept 16 deadline - highlighted how far PKR still has to go.

The party's top leadership gave repeated assurances to the 2,500 delegates that the plan was still on track.

"People say Anwar is a liar. People are impatient, asking when, when, when. Be patient lah. Yes, Sept 16 did not happen, but we carry on. Do not give up," Wan Azizah said in her closing address at the congress.

A PKR member said that he had felt let down by this admonition. It was Anwar who had set the date, but he had yet to explain the failure to meet the deadline.

Anwar has now moved on to a new target: Sarawak. The Borneo state is due to hold its state elections by 2011, although PKR believes they could take place next year. The party hopes to tap the disenchantment of the Chinese and native communities there, which have been left out of mainstream development.

Party MPs have been told to 'adopt' constituencies in Sarawak, and must travel there weekly, starting from next week.

Most delegates at the congress did not focus on the failed takeover, but wanted to see the party work harder to build on its successes. They criticised the lack of institution building, especially of a grassroots network, and the absence of greater cohesion within the Pakatan coalition.

Some delegates called for a shadow Cabinet to be set up, to give substance to the coalition's claim of being a government in waiting. The other Pakatan partners are Chinese-led Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (Pas).

"There must be a shadow Cabinet to show people that we have capable leaders to govern," said Johor delegate Lau Tek Hai.

Some PKR MPs and state assemblymen were taken to task by delegates.

Nizam Abdul Hamid, a delegate from Pahang, said that, since March, they had suddenly become 'too busy' to return to their constituencies.

Criticism was also raised regarding alleged bids by some opposition members to lobby for contracts. Stories were also told of how party branches had delayed applications for fear of admitting members who might have posed a threat to the branch leaders.

Such accounts are eerily reminiscent of Umno folk tales.

PKR plans to hold a special congress in February to tackle these problems.

"Chasing victory is far easier than holding on to it," said PKR vice-president Azmin Ali. - The Straits Times

Anwar seeks support from sultans in battle for power

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 - Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is reaching out to Malaysia's powerful sultans in his latest strategy to try to wrest power from the government.

His wife, Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, the nominal president of Anwar's Keadilan party, has offered to restore their powers if the opposition seizes power. "We are willing to return royal immunity and power to veto laws in the spirit of constitutional monarchy," she said.

Her statement has sparked debate over whether the Malay rulers, one of whom is chosen as ruling sultan every five years, should get back powers that were taken away in 1984 by then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Dr Mahathir amended the constitution and removed the sultan's power to veto bills, making the government the highest authority in the country. A 1993 amendment removed royal immunity from prosecution.

Constitutional law expert Shad Saleem Faruqi said on Friday that he supported the reinstatement of royal powers, but under strict codes of conduct to prevent the abuse of power.

The proposal came a day after Tunku Naquiyuddin, the regent of Negri Sembilan, made a rare demand to the government to reinstate royal powers.

The government's response was lukewarm, with the minister for law Nazri Aziz saying that a proposal must be made by the Conference of Rulers, a body that represents the nine sultans.

Despite his reduced powers, the ruling sultan does have discretionary powers to convene and dissolve parliament and appoint chief ministers, judges and senior civil servants.

The royals have also been outspoken recently on a number of issues, and many went against the ruling by the National Fatwa Council, Malaysia's top religious authority, to ban yoga for Muslims. The sultans have also
been critical of Malaysia's scandal-plagued judiciary.

"The royals have an expanding role as a check on government excesses," said Ramon Navaratnam, the chairman of think-tank, Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute. "We should not reject their suggestion outright, but examine it carefully."

Anwar's move to win royal support could be politically significant if he wins the backing of the king, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, who can convene parliament - a tactic that could be used by Anwar to stage a mass defection of government backbenchers to his party. - South China Morning Post

My Comment as posted

funny tho' that people forget that Zaid the founding member of the Muslim Association of Malaysia, who never bother to stoop in using the racial card then in order to built up Zaid Ibrahim and Co to one of the biggest law firm now, and dare say at present to talk about Liberalism and Multi culturism as his new mantra. Where was it then? Why keep attacking Najib, is there a hidden agenda? I am not pro Najib but it is disheartening to see a Muslimah slandering Najib as the same as Mahathir? Did he forget her hubby was so chummy with Tun at one time, until as tho we were talking then as Siblings and maybe father and son team? I really wonder how far has Datin stray from being a Muslimah or it is just a garb, a fashion fad to be discarded when she see fit. Is that what having an Islamic credential leader is all about in Malaysia? Duplicity? Is that not a criteria of a Munafik as describe by the hadiths? I leave it for the reader to digest.


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