Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rebel party hails PKR victory (Malaysiakini)

Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) has hailed the landslide victory of PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, saying it augurs well for non-racial politics in Malaysia.

“Sapp now calls on the people in Malaysia, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, to be ready for change,” said Sapp president Yong Teck Lee, strongly hinting at possible defections to the Pakatan Rakyat coalition led by PKR.

In a statement to Malaysiakini, Yong said the rejection of racial politics, as demonstrated in the March general elections, has been repeated resoundingly by the voters of Permatang Pauh, of whom 69 percent are Malays.

However, he added that BN, especially the Umno leadership, have not learnt their lesson.

“Instead of strengthening national unity among the people, Umno tried desperately to whip up racial emotions on the New Economic Policy issue by mob demonstrations in Penang immediately after the elections,” said Yong (photo, centre).

The orchestrating of student demonstrations at UiTM this month, the inflammatory speeches of Umno MPs in Parliament and racial instigation against Sapp MPs over the no-confidence motion in June all proved that the BN and Umno are still trapped in the old mindset of “racial compartmentalisation”, he added.

The outspoken Sapp leader said instead of changing for the better with people-friendly policies after the devastating losses at the March general elections, the BN government “played around with fuel prices at the whims and fancies of the prime minister, inflicting suffering on the people”.

Yong added that when Sapp first declared no confidence in Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, almost all the BN component parties chose to condemn the party instead of solving the issues raised by his party.

“Sapp reminds the BN component parties to join the Sapp’s move of no confidence in the PM so as to effect change for the better in the country.

BN members reject own party

Meanwhile, Sapp information chief Kassim Sulaiman in a separate statement said the result of the Permatang Pauh by-election was a testimony that the people, including BN and Umno members, are rejecting the BN government.

Anwar garnered 31,195 votes while BN’s Arif Shah Omar Shah got 15,524 votes, giving Anwar a thumping majority of 15,671 votes.

Kassim said although BN's total membership in Permatang Pauh is 26,942, the coalition only managed to secure 15,524 votes.

“This shows that a total of 11,271 BN members have opted to support PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim,” he saidKassim added that as Permatang Pauh is in the prime minister’s home state, BN’s failure in wresting Permatang Pauh from the opposition “is an expression of no confidence in the prime minister's leadership”.
news n photo courtesy of Malaysiakini