Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mr Anwar to Badawi - Come Let's Have A Meeting!


Anwar to Pak Lah: Let's meet
Beh Lih Yi | Sep 13, 08 6:33pm

Anwar Ibrahim is seeking a meeting with Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to discuss national security in the wake of the ISA
and the future of Malaysian politics.

The proposal was agreed by the Pakatan Rakyat leadership council, Anwar told a press conference after the council meeting at the PKR headquarters this afternoon.

pakatan meeting isa arrests 130908 anwarThe council also comprise DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang. They were present at the meeting which requested Anwar to meet the prime minister.

The proposal was brought up after the government yesterday invoked the draconian Internal Security Act to arrest a prominent blogger, a journalist and an opposition politician. The journalist was released this afternoon.

The crackdown came ahead of Anwar’s threat to topple the BN federal government by next Tuesday. He claimed he has sufficient number of Barisan MPs to defect to the opposition alliance to do so.

Asked whether the proposed meeting with Abdullah was to effect a transition of power, Anwar replied, "It’s about the future direction of this country without specifically speaking about the transition.”

The opposition leader sidestepped a question on the likelihood of Abdullah's refusal to see him, saying that it will be an issue concerning national security and of paramount importance.

‘Possibility of a second wave’

Anwar also said that Pakatan’s Sept 16 plan was unrelated to the ISA arrests when asked whether he would defer his plan to ease the political tension in the face of more possible arrests.

“The priority is political stability. It’s not an issue of deferring, we have the number to move and we will move according to the mandate. We don’t want to allow the government to create political instability using the race card,” he stressed.

He also said that apart from national security, another major issue that Pakatan has to grasp with was that a huge number of BN legislators are abroad after being sent on an agricultural study tour of Tawain.

To another question, Anwar did not discount the possibility of more arrests on Pakatan leaders.

“There is a possibility of a second wave, we are mindful of that fact. That’s why we discussed that possibility separately and within PKR. We shouldn’t feel threatened, it’s Umno and BN leaders who feel threatened by public sentiments clamouring for change,” he said.

In a related development, the Pakatan Rakyat leadership council also agreed to jointly organise with the Selangor government a peaceful gathering at the Kelana Jaya stadium on the eve of September 16 to celebrate Malaysia Day.

Earlier, the council issued a one-page statement condemning the government’s “desperate move” to use the ISA on the trio and demand for their immediate release or to charge them in court.

pakatan meeting isa arrests 130908 anwar guan eng“We hope the government action is not the beginning of mass arrest of opposition leaders in their attempt to thwart the (plan) of Pakatan to form the federal government.

“The unstable situation is staged by the government to plant fear and anxiety in the people and can be a cause for national unrest,” read the statement.

Lim Kit Siang, Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng and PAS secretary-general Kamaruddin Jaffar also presented their views at the press conference with Anwar.

Guan Eng said he was particularly upset with the detention of senior MP Teresa Kok under the ISA as she is an elected representative.

He asked the government “to return to sanity” by releasing her immediately.

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