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PR willing to meet Najib over Perak (Updated 7.06pm)

Updated 14 May 2009, 7.06pm

KUALA LUMPUR, 14 May 2009: The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) today expressed willingness to meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the Perak political crisis, but danced around the question of what both sides would discuss given their opposing views on calling for a snap election.

While claiming they were ready to meet Najib without any conditions, in the same breath, the PR leaders also said the opposition alliance would continue to call for the dissolution of the state legislative assembly to pave the way for fresh elections as the only solution to the crisis.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said PR would wait for Najib to make the first move to invite them.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim

“We are ready to meet Najib to strengthen democracy in Perak, and we reiterate our stand that the mandate should be returned to the people of Perak to choose a legitimate government,” said the Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser at a joint press conference with PAS and DAP leaders.

The opposition alliance had just finished a meeting to discuss Najib’s offer to cooperate on solving the state crisis. Najib had also said there should be no conditions set for the meeting.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said Najib should meet with PR leaders as he was the one who started the crisis.

“He is singly responsible for the power grab in Perak. Since he orchestrated the power grab, he must now resolve it. If he is prepared to put the state above personal and party (Umno) interests, then we are prepared to have this meeting. It will be a test of his calibre as prime minister,” Lim said.

No cooperation

Both Anwar and Lim rebuffed the notion of “cooperation” or any idea of a unity government with the Barisan Nasional (BN) in Perak.

Anwar said it was more of “working together” to solve the impasse rather than cooperation.

“We are suggesting a meeting with Najib as soon as possible to resolve this, and our proposal is that the people should decide. Co-operate? Co-operate to respect the constitution, co-operate to respect the rule of law. Co-operate and then to go back to the people, he said.

He was asked several times during the press conference on what would be the point of talking with the BN since the coalition was against dissolving the state assembly.

“We will give our views, if he (Najib) gives his views, we will listen. If the meeting takes place, after we meet, we will tell you,” Anwar said.

On whether the PR would compromise on having fresh elections, he said, “Our position is clear but we are prepared to listen.”

Support for fresh polls

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said there were more civil society groups and individuals, including those from within the BN, who were voicing their support for fresh elections.

Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang
Hadi Awang
“There are more voices supporting us and it is becoming the majority view now,” Hadi said.

Groups that have called for dissolving the assembly include the Bar Council and the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam).

Individuals from the BN who have openly supported fresh elections include Dewan Negara president Tan Sri Dr Abdul Hamid Pawanteh, Umno member of parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Penang Gerakan chief Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan, and MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek in his blog.

Lim also criticised Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir for “gatecrashing” the state secretariat building in Perak to re-occupy the menteri besar’s post.

Lim said the stay of execution order obtained by Zambry against the High Court’s 11 May ruling that Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was the rightful Perak menteri besar only served to stop Nizar from performing his duties as MB.

“The stay does not overturn the declaration that Zambry is not the MB. So Zambry has no right to gatecrash the state secretariat building,” Lim said.

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2 Responses to “PR willing to meet Najib over Perak (Updated 7.06pm)”

  1. Mustapha Kamal says:

    Evil must NEVER be compromised with. The people of Malaysia made their decision on 8 March 2008. I would not like to think that Anwar Ibrahim or ANY of the other PR leaders will sanction a SETTLEMENT with the Umno-BN to settle the Perak issue. We can wait, if necessary, for the next GE. Then these hoodlums will know how the people of Malaysia REALLY feel about them.

  2. Nehemiah says:

    This political stalemate can only be resolved with creative, new solutions which are rakyat-friendly. Otherwise, the reluctance by Najib to agree to fresh elections will see the issue go back and forth between the courts and counter appeals, etc.

    Barring a fresh election, both PR and BN should work together (or cooperate if you like) to prove to Perakians that the people’s welfare is a HIGHER priority than partisanship.

    The rakyat should and is the final employer assessing which candidate to employ.

    But if two rival candidates refuse to work together, the employer (rakyat) should give them a choice: either you cooperate for my benefit or you both don’t get the job. In such a stalemate, Perakians can afford to bear the loss of being ungoverned and wait for the next GE to decide. Perhaps by then, both parties will come to their senses or there will be a third party that can offer better governance.

    Of course, the ideal solution is for snap elections to be held but that option is currently a roadblock for BN.

    And please, in the talks between PR with BN, do not reject outright any proposals for power-sharing if it is the second best solution to serve the people’s interests.

    Like Teng Hisao Peng said, the people don’t care if the cat is black or white as long as it catches mice. However, these two cats seem to be more concerned about who gets to be called the official MB than catching mice.

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