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.


Complaints over demolition of Karamunsing roundabout


The Member of Parliament here Dr Hiew King Cheu said he had received numerous complaints about problems arising from the demolition of the existing roundabout in front of Karamunsing Complex and the SESB Building. He said the complaints were brought to his attention by tenants and owners of the Karamunsing Complex since the SESE started demolishing the roundabout and converted the area into a parking bay for the sole use of the utility Company. He said SESB management had claimed that since the roundabout was within their boundaries, they had the right to do what they wanted with the area. After the conversion was done, the parking area would be fenced up and tenants and lot owners at Karamunsing Complex were prohibited from using the area, even at the roundabout, said hew yesterday. Speaking to reporters during an inspection at the site, Hiew said there was a meeting between the SESB management, Karamunsing Complex management and City Hall to discuss the likely problems arising from conversion of the roundabout into a parking bay and fencing off the access road there to cut off the traffic flow into the area. “The central roundabout area with green plants has been there since the completion of the two complexes some 25 years ago and it has been like a public place shared by the two complexes. “Why did SESB suddenly decide to put in their boundaries and claim the right over this roundabout?” Hiew, who is also the DAP KK Branch Chairman, asked. According to him, the fence will actually cut off the traffic flow for the two buildings and caused a great amount of inconvenience to the public as converting the area into parking bay will merely accommodate 32 car parks. As such, Hiew suggested that in the interest of the public, it would be better not to fence up the area and the proposed car park can still be constructed. “This way motorists can still use the area as a roundabout,” he said, adding that if the SESB management wants to have more parking lots, they can always make use of the front space of the building facing the new Karamunsing flyover. There are not less than 10,000 people using the two complexes and in this regard he urged City Hall to intervene.


BN defection not a joke, says Anwar


Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman does not have the support of all of his BN MPs as he had claimed, according to Parti Keadilan Rakyat Adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Anwar who arrived in Kota Kinabalu for a one-day visit Wednesday afternoon, reiterated his claim that a number of BN leaders from Sabah had stated their intention to cross over to Keadilan, led by his wife Datin Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. “He should know that not all his MPs are still with him. If he wants to know who and who, he can discuss with me in private,” the Keadilan de facto leader told a press conference late yesterday afternoon ahead of his talk in KDCA last night.“It may sound like a joke, but it is true. They (the MPs) have actually made their decision,” he added Anwar who is scheduled to leave for Sarawak today, said his visit to Sabah was not to campaign but to allay the concerns of some parties and deny the unfounded claims that some PKR leaders were involved in unethical means to gain support from BN Members of Parliament. “We are not here to do that as they (BN MPs) have already made their decision and given their assurances. And we are not here to make any sort of deal involving money. “We are here based on the fact that we are supported by Malaysians of all races who want to shift from the traditional politics to a new dawn for Malaysia. Because of that, we want to seek the understanding of our brothers and sisters in Sabah,” he said. According to him, it is just a matter of timing before the MPs involved make their announcement to switch parties with Keadilan which is also not rushing the matter. “We are waiting for the right time to make their final move to form the alternative Government,” he said. He said the MPs are holding back as Parliament is not yet in session and they are not yet officially an MP until they are sworn in when Dewan Rakyat convenes its first sitting at the end of this month. “When do I hey go out, hat needs to be discussed because Umno and BN are known to be very rough in their methods. They are using all sorts of threats and intimidation. “I am, for example, being monitored, more closely now. But we have our own ways of discussing the matter. I may discuss with them in Hong Kong or Singapore, although it may sound like a joke but it is true,” he said. “When, is when we believe it is the good for the country. For now, let Parliament resume first and like I said, we are not in rush. But I assure you, God-willing, we will be there. If not next month, then the following month or maybe July or Merdeka or Hari Malaysia (Sept 16), but I think we should not exceed beyond that,” said Anwar. In the meantime, he said the Opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat comprising Keadilan, DAP and PAS would welcome any other Party to join’them. He said the alliance has not made an official decision on the matter yet but had agreed in principle that any BN member or party would be welcomed.