Pakatan Rakyat defers 916 takeover plan

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Pakatan Rakyat defers 916 takeover plan Empty Pakatan Rakyat defers 916 takeover plan

Post by Maya on Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:28 pm
KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 12, 2008):
The Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance has deferred plans to unseat the government by Sept 16, its leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has said.
The announcement came in the form of a statement late Thursday after a leaders council meeting, and puts paid to his repeated assertions earlier that the deadline would be met as at least 30 Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament (MPs) were ready to crossover to the PR.
The statement said the PR was still confident of getting a sufficient number of MPs to oust the ruling coalition "soon".
Anwar needs at least 30 defectors to topple the ruling BN coalition, which has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957. Barisan has 140 MPs and the opposition 82, including an independent.
However, the BN Backbenchers Club has taken 49 MPs on a trip to Taiwan, purportedly to learn more about agricultural techniques used successfully by the Taiwanese, a development mentioned in the statement as a reason for the deferment. The MPs are supposed to be back by Sept 16 or 17.
If it wins power, PR said it would call a fresh general election within six to 12 months to seek a new mandate.
Although the BN has denied it, observers say the Taiwan trip was to prevent the parliamentarians from crossing over.
Meanwhile, Sabah MP Datuk Anifah Aman said the Umno leadership must "do something" about the party's internal problems rather than worrying about whether any of its MPs are going to cross over to PR.
"What is happening now is that Umno leaders seem to be more preoccupied with the speculated defections of some of the MPs instead of addressing the problems within Umno itself", he told Bernama today.
Anifah, who is chairman of the Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs' Backbenchers Club, said there was no question of Umno MPs defecting if the party remained strong and other issues did not sidetrack its top leadership.
"I am much more concerned or worried about what is to become of Umno, especially with the impending party elections in December, than other matters," said Anifah, who is the BN MP for Kimanis and Umno Kimanis division head.
Following the general election in March, which saw the BN losing for the first time its two-thirds majority in parliament, the outspoken MP created history of sorts by publicly refusing his re-appointment as a deputy minister. He had been a deputy minister for two terms.
His subsequent sharp criticisms that states like Sabah and Sarawak were not getting a fair deal in development budget and appointments to national-level posts led to announcements of allocations of billions of ringgit to the two states.
For the first time, the Dewan Rakyat saw a politician from Sabah, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, being appointed Speaker, aided by two Deputy Speakers, Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Datuk Ronald Kiandee from Sarawak and Sabah respectively.
Anifah said Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's remarks on Wednesday that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi's transition plan to step down by 2010 was too long, was another problem within Umno that should be addressed before things got worse in the party, the lynchpin of the ruling BN.
Muhyiddin, the International Trade and Industry Minister, had also asked Abdullah to rethink the timeframe.
Reacting to this yesterday, Abdullah said he was surprised that a member of his Cabinet wanted him to step down before 2010 as the Cabinet and the Umno supreme council had endorsed his transition plan.
Another BN MP, Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe, in echoing Anifah's sentiment, said other BN component parties which regarded Umno as their "big brother" were beginning to get worried about the goings-on in the party.
Tiki, who is vice-president of the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and a former deputy minister, said he could see signs of a "crisis" brewing in Umno following Muhyddin's open remarks against the Prime Minister and Umno president.
He also cited the alleged racist outburst by Umno Bukit Bendera division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail as a worrying trend, adding that by suspending his Umno membership for three years for making the remarks, the party was only "treating the symptoms".
Tiki said: " I believe the controversy sparked by Ahmad is just the tip of the iceberg and things are not looking that good for the BN either".
"We MPs have to face our constituents who voted us in and if the leadership is not receptive or sensitive to our grouses, then the problems on the ground are likely to grow," he said.
Asked why he was not among the BN backbenchers now visiting Taiwan on a study tour of agricultural projects, Tiki said he felt the trip would not serve its purpose. "Furthermore, the timing is not right when there's so much problems at home that we should be more concerned with."

GodFather - Lord of NAI
GodFather - Lord of NAI

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