Malaysia

Pakatan optimistic of GE win, Anwar tells envoys ahead of polls

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
April 25, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is ready and confident of taking over Putrajaya, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has confidently told foreign diplomats ahead of the next general election.

Anwar (picture) said one of the PR’s concerns was how to conduct a peaceful power transition from Barisan Nasional to PR “when the time comes.”

“Diplomats asked questions ranging from electoral system to expectations of elections, to which Anwar gave an optimistic response.

“He told them, judging from the response we have been getting from people during ceramahs, functions, we are optimistic of winning,” PAS’s Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar told The Malaysian Insider.

Over 30 representatives from foreign embassies attended a special closed door briefing organised by PR earlier today, where MPs from the federal opposition conducted presentations on Malaysia electoral reform system, as well as the rationale behind the upcoming Bersih 3.0 rally.

Also present were Bersih leaders which included Maria Chin Abdullah and Hishamuddin Rais. PR leaders who attended the meeting were Kamaruddin, Fuziah Salleh, Hatta Ramli and PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali.

“One diplomat said what has been published in the news seem to indicate Datuk Seri Najib Razak was (more) popular... To which Anwar said that opinion polls should be read with caution and detail,” said Kamaruddin, referring to Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s loss in the last GE despite the fact that opinion surveys showed he was highly popular among Malaysians.

“It was a frank discussion...Anwar related to them about PR was concerned about a peaceful transition should PR win the next polls,” PKR vice-president Fuziah told The Malaysian Insider.

“They (diplomats) were interested in how we plan to take over...we also explained to them our concerns about electoral reforms,” she said.

Fuziah, along with PKR’s Sivarasa Rasiah conducted presentations of unresolved issues surrounding the electoral system, such as the “unnatural” spike of voters in Selangor as well as the professionalism of the Election Commission (EC).

Bersih’s Maria also spoke on the necessity of this Saturday’s Bersih 3.0 rally, Fuziah added.

“We explained we have been pushing for big reforms but they (the government) do little ones...among the issues we brought up was the surge of voter movements in Selangor,” she said.

Kamaruddin added that what was stressed during the briefing was that the country’s electoral system was “far from clean.”

“The response was quite good. Some of the diplomats have said privately that they support us (should PR win federal power),” the Tumpat MP said.

PAS secretary-general Mustafa said that the briefing was an “important” one, especially since general elections are expected to be held soon.

“We have these briefings, on important issues. To explain the issues we see on the news, national issues,” he told The Malaysian Insider.