By SHAHANAAZ HABIB, DHARMENDER SINGH, TEH ENG HOCK and NURBAITI HAMDAN ( The Star )
SHAH ALAM: PKR has decided to talk less about its bid to take over the federal government from Barisan Nasional but “it’s still very much on,” said deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali.
He said the party had learnt its lesson that when it talks about dates to take over this only “alerts undesirable elements” about it.
“So now we do not talk much about announcing dates or announcing a takeover. We talk less about it but try to do more about it. It’s still very much on. We are prepared for change. It might come earlier (than the next election),” he told reporters Friday at a press conference.
He was asked if Pakatan Rakyat expects to take over the federal government by Dec 8, a new date the party had set after it had missed its previously self-imposed deadline on Sept 16.
Pakatan comprising PKR, DAP and PAS won a total of 82 seats while Barisan secured 140 seats in parliament during the March 8 election.
It needs 30 crossovers to topple the Barisan government. So far, SAPP has left Barisan which means that its two MPs are now listed as independent MPs, while Datuk Ibrahim Ali who won on a PAS ticket is also listed as an independent.
Dr Syed Husin said Sept 16 was only the beginning of the process to take over the government.
“The process is going on. It could happen at any time,” he added.
He also disclosed that over the past few months, the party had received almost 100,000 new members.
In his speech earlier, Dr Syed Husin told members not to feel disheartened that the Sept 16 deadline had passed.
He said Barisan had accused de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of lying that he had the numbers to form the government, adding that it was unfortunate that a small number of PKR members too had their doubts.
“I am confident though that most of our party members and people want change and are certain that Anwar was telling the truth when he said he had the numbers. What they don’t know is these MPs have been threatened and pressured (not to cross over),” he said.
These obstacles, he said, meant that the change of government could not take place just yet.
Dr Syed Husin also said there was a concerted effort by Barisan to relentlessly run down the Mentris Besar and Chief Minister in the five Pakatan states (Kelantan, Kedah, Perak, Selangor and Penang).
He said Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (from PKR) too became a target and they accused him of being anti-Malay over the appointment of a Chinese woman to be the acting head of PKNS.
Saying that there were claims that a lot of senior PKNS officers were not clean and transparent, he urged for the setting up of an independent body aided by the Anti-Corruption Agency to investigate and get to the bottom of the matter.
He said Barisan used false claims and half-truths to fan racial sentiments and was confident that people would not be taken in.
He said during the general election, it was clear that a large number of young voters supported the opposition and chose the party and candidate without regard to race and religion.
“This indicates that parties like Umno, MCA and MIC only have short life spans left,” he added.
Dr Syed Husin also took to task some PKR divisions that tried to block new members from coming in.
He said there were a few divisions where leadership was weak, lacked initiative and were dominated “at times by cliques” who did not want to see a better leader emerge.
He said this tendency was more prevalent in the Youth wing than in Wanita.