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Pakatan Rakyat to meet Abdullah before forming new govt

Pakatan Rakyat is ready to form the government, claims Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

PETALING JAYA, 16 Sept 2008: Pakatan Rakyat will meet with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi before it moves to form a new government.

“We believe the Prime Minister will share Pakatan Rakyat’s concerns for the welfare of the people and the security of the nation,” said opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at a press conference at Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) headquarters here today.

Reading from a statement, Anwar, who is PKR advisor, revealed that Pakatan Rakyat representatives had sent a letter to Abdullah yesterday, seeking assurance from the prime minister on several points, including that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government not employ the Internal Security Act (ISA) against present or future Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament (MPs); and invoke emergency or police powers, suspend the constitution or dissolve parliament in response to the opposition coalition’s intent to secure a parliamentary majority.

Anwar had previously pledged 16 Sept as the day on which the Pakatan Rakyat would take over the government by engineering a crossover of more than 31 MPs currently aligned with the BN.

Affirming that the coalition, which comprises PKR, DAP and PAS, is committed to “ensure a peaceful transition of power,” Anwar advised “radical elements within the BN against the abuse of state power to unlawfully harass and detain our supporters”.

He cited several examples as proof of the government’s willingness to employ threats and intimidation, including the recent detention of Seputeh MP Teresa Kok under the ISA on 12 Sept.

“This has to stop. We would want to impress upon the government and the general public that the security and the interest of the nation is paramount – even if it means delaying the process [of forming a new government] by a few days,” Anwar said when responding to questions from reporters.

When pressed as to the exact tally of MPs set to defect, Anwar merely repeated that it was in excess of the 31 MPs Pakatan Rakyat needed to form a new government.

“It is increasing by the hour. I’m not joking. This morning I received a signed note from another member,” he said, while refusing to reveal the names.

“We name them now and they get harassed immediately. We know how the system operates,” he added.

Anwar said that it was up to Abdullah to agree to the meeting.

“We’ve not given any ultimatum to him. We’ve said it is of national importance, it is incumbent and urgent for any sitting prime minister to respond positively in the interest of the nation and not just to appease the upheavals and turmoil within Umno,” the 61-year-old politician said.

Following the meeting with the prime minister, Pakatan Rakyat will proceed to seek an audience with the King to formalise its new government, in accordance to Malaysian law, he explained. End of Article

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