Saturday, November 29, 2008

PKR wants to take Sarawak from Barisan - Star

SHAH ALAM: Nov 29, 2008

PKR has set its sights on wresting Sarawak from Barisan Nasional in the next state election and the work will begin next month.

De facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he had heard the outpourings and cries coming from the state and directed party leaders to go down to the ground in Sarawak starting next month to “do battle” to win the state.

“I am sure DAP and PAS will help. There is a big change coming there,” he said in his keynote address at the PKR national congress on Saturday.

Anwar said Sarawak was a state rich in petroleum, gas, timber and other natural resources but its people remained poor and were hungry for change.

Sarawak had its state election in May 2006 and its next election is due in 2011.

Touching briefly on the Sept 16 self-imposed deadline that had passed for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to take over the Federal Government, Anwar said the transition of government was not a personal political game but it involved many bodies like the police, military, judiciary, civil service and the media.

“True, it did not come to fruition on Sept 16 but believe me their (Barisan) political game cannot jeopardise the strength of the people’s spirit when they come together,” he added.

Anwar said PR will not be apologetic for fighting for the rights of all people regardless of race and religion and that one community’s cries and grievances is felt by all.

He said never in the country’s history have the people been so bold as to come forward against Barisan as seen in the March 8 general election where even in non-Malay constituencies like Kota Raja, the PAS candidate won.

Anwar said he was proud of the performance of the PR government in the five states (Perak, Penang, Kedah, Selangor and Kelantan) it governs and said that a lot of change had already taken place in the short time. He acknowledged that there were some problems among PKR, PAS and DAP but said that all three parties in PR should look at the bigger agenda.

Earlier, Ngemoh assemblyman (Sarawak) Gabriel Adit, who joined PKR with 12,000 supporters recently told the Congress that help was needed to unseat Barisan in Sarawak.

“This is a very big challange as Barisan in Sarawak is very strong, so we need all the PKR members from the Peninsular to come to Sarawak to defeat Barisan,” he said.

Adit added that Sarawak has a chief minister who had been around for far too long as 27 years in power was too much.

Speaking to reporters later, PKR vice-president Azmin Ali said focusing on Sarawak did not mean that PKR was giving up on taking over the Federal Government through crossovers.

He said the takeover plan was still on.

“But we are expecting early elections in Sarawak. We expect it in the second quarter of next year,” he said.

He added that all PKR MPs and assemblymen will be in Sarawak from the second week of December to make a breakthrough and bring change.

“If the people decide on change, there is no way to stop the mood on the ground,” he added.

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