KUALA SELANGOR, March 26 — The battle for Selangor has begun ahead of the next general election as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim challenged the prime minister to try and win Selangor for Barisan Nasional (BN), dismissing the ruling federal coalition as a potential threat to Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
The PKR de facto leader told about 5,000 PR supporters that the time had come to “launch a war” against Umno-BN, and that elections were very much around the corner.
“Najib says he wants to take over Selangor... what are you talking about? He wants to come and take Selangor? We want to take over Putrajaya!” Anwar (picture) screamed to loud cheers of approval from the crowd here last night.
The opposition leader said the reason why Najib cannot win Selangor was because BN’s line-up of leaders promised and nurtured a culture of cronyism and corruption.
Anwar wasted little time and launched into a verbal tirade against the PM, and questioned him for not taking stern action against Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil over the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) scandal.
“Our leaders in PR, in Selangor, in our states are clean, not dirty, and our leaders are not plunderers,” Anwar exclaimed.
Najib said yesterday that BN was ready to win the next general election as well as take back Selangor, and that public feedback has been encouraging.
He said that people have been telling him BN has regained public support since the 2008 polls.
The PM has said BN must win back Selangor, a key state due to its industrial and natural resources, “at all costs.”
Anwar spent a good portion of his speech last night on Najib and warned the PM against using the mainstream media to launch personal attacks.
“Who is the leader of Umno? Najib? What happened to Altantuya? What happened in Port Dickson?
“I must warn him, confine (attacks) to rule of law, good governance and not personal attacks. I have been victimised enough,” said Anwar.
Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who spoke before Anwar, said that state reserves had improved tremendously under PR and that it was currently at RM1.9 billion. He also said that Selangor contributed 22 per cent of the country’s gross domestic income.
Khalid also said Selangor’s successes were partly due to Anwar, who is the state economic adviser.
“These are all indicators that to guard the state’s finances, we have been better than the previous state government.
“If he (Anwar) is not there, how can I give these figures? Anwar was finance minister. Any Umno representatives in Selangor with that kind of credentials?” Khalid asked.
The function last night hit a temporary snag when several youths entered the stadium where the event was held, holding placards and banners.
PR security staff took the youths away when the crowd became restless and went after them.
“Thugs. Hooligans. Umno goons,” Anwar said later, referring to the youths who were detained by security personnel.