Thursday, April 24, 2008


Party hopping not unethical: Anwar


The act of party hopping to respect the wishes of the people who are demanding for a better Government is not unethical or immoral, said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. He said the people are demanding for a shift in the country’s governance towards better heights where the rights of everyone are equally guarded and respected with no single race monopolizing politics. “There is nothing wrong in respecting that,” he told a press conference here yesterday. Anwar in commenting on the Barisan Nasional’s move to tie the issue of ethics and morals to their members’ loyalty to the Party, said there is no reason why any Member of Parliament in Peninsular or Sabah and Sarawak cannot cross over to the Party of their choice. Speaking to the media shortly after arriving here yesterday, Anwar said his visit to Sabah was not to answer issues brought up by Umno as he believes it is Umno that has a lot to answer in regard to moral and ethics. “The issue of ethics and moral should be clear. I think those who brought up this issue have a lot to answer themselves. “The wealth of the State is being monopolized by a handful of people, unfair election, Judiciary system that is not free to have its own way as admitted by the Prime Minister himself, control over the media. Now, these are the things we should talk about when we talk about ethics and morality,” he said. Anwar said his visit to Sabah was to look at the latest issues and political sentiment of the people and to further explain to the grassroots level the agenda of PKR. “I come to explain why the PKR agendas are special, what are their strengths, why it is attractive to the people of Sabah and Sarawak. “I am also here to explain that if the last election was conducted freely and fairly — if the use of ink was not cancelled, no clear cheating, no massive misuse of postal votes — we are confident that we could have achieved victory,” he said. Following the press conference, Anwar delivered a talk at KDCA in Penampang in the evening. Some 7,000 people showed up to listen to the former Deputy Prime Minister speak for more than two hours. There, he spoke about the need to give enough assurance to all the communities as well as fair and equal treatment, regardless of their race. He also spoke about Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Supremacy) which according to him, should be replaced with Ketuanan Rakyat (Citizen Supremacy) to end political monopolization ofa single race against the rest of the citizens. He said the State Government, including Sabah; should be given enough room to decide important issues without the intrusion of the Federal Government. “No race should have or should consider themselves as having the monopoly of leadership of the State. We do it together, if it means taking turns, having consensus, that is for the leaders to decide. “The duty of the Federal (Government) is only to ensure good governance and accountability, not to dictate every single move and measure taken by the State as what the Umno and BN are doing,” he said. He also elaborated on the other main agendas the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat have for the people of Sabah. Among others were about tackling main issues in the State such as the illegal immigrant problem, the unfair distribution of the State’s oil royalty and the high poverty rate. PKR State leaders present at the talk included National Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, State Liaison Chief Ansari Abdullah and Deputy State Chairperson Christina Liew.