Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We can form government: Anwar Ibrahim

(The Nation) - Former Malaysia's deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim marked his return to active politics on Monday night by claiming that the Pakatan Rakyat could easily form the next government.

However, he said the tripartite coalition of opposition parties would only do so provided it had a healthy majority, instead of a majority of only "two or five seats," according to the New Straits Times online.

Speaking after attending a rally at the Sultan Sulaiman Club by Parti Keadilan Rakyat to welcome him back, he said: "We are saying here for the first time that we are ready (to rule the country). But we will only enter when the majority is comfortable."

The de-facto leader of PKR said, however, that Pakatan Rakyat would not pay Barisan Nasional MPs to cross over in order to achieve its aims of forming the federal government.

"We are not in a hurry," he said, adding that any Pakatan Rakyat's decision would be reached in a democratic manner.

On his immediate plans, now that the ban on his holding public office was over, Anwar said he was in no hurry and would focus on strengthening Pakatan Rakyat, according to the online.

"The priority now is to administer Pakatan Rakyat states as incorruptible and financially transparent, fulfil our promises to the people and give meaning and essence to participatory democracy."

Anwar had been banned from electoral politics for five years after his release from jail after being convicted of corruption and abuse of power.

Asked about comments about him by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar said he had for a long time refrained from replying against the personal attacks.

"He is obsolete, despite having gone through numerous medical treatments. He is getting crazier."

Anwar also blamed Dr Mahathir for the current state of the judiciary as well as the Internal Security Act.

Present were PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is Anwar's wife, his daughter and Lembah Pantai MP, Nurul Izzah, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali and vice-president Azmin Ali.

Several DAP and Pas leaders were also among the 10,000 who turned up yesterday.

Anwar arrived at 8.50pm to shouts of "reformasi" and later spoke for about an hour before he was stopped by Dang Wangi police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohd Zulkarnain Abdul Rahman, who explained that since there was no permit for the gathering, it would have to be stopped.

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