Saturday, November 29, 2008

Azizah slams power transition plan

Rahmah Ghazali | Nov 29, 08 1:01pm

PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today slammed the March transition plan of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy, Najib Tun Razak, saying it would not bring any positive changes to the country.

During a policy speech at the PKR annual congress in Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam this morning, she told the 4000-strong crowd that the transition plan would only impact the nation in a negative way.

"We are here to stress that the transition plan between the prime minister and his deputy, Najib Abdul Razak will not make any positive changes to the damage that has been done to the judicial system, the police, the Anti-Corruption Agency and Parliament," she said.

Wan Azizah, who is also former Permatang Pauh MP and the wife of PKR de-facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, said the transition plan would be "no different than the old regime", referring to the tenure of Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

"It will have so much similarities with the old regime, where the Internal Security Act and corruption were widely practised. The same regime also contributed to the terrible erosion of government institutions," she added.

The transition plan, which was originally planned for June 2010, had to be pushed forward to next March after Abdullah was forced to review his departure date after losing support from Umno grassroots in the wake of the huge loses suffered by Barisan Nasional in the last general election.

Najib, who is Umno deputy chief, last month won the leadership of the ruling party unopposed, paving the way for him to be appointed prime minister next March.

Touching on the good relationship between the political parties in Pakatan Rakyat, Wan Azizah also reiterated PKR’s commitment to DAP and PAS, saying the opposition coalition would do all in its power to preserve the special position of the Malay rulers, Malays, Islam and Bahasa Melayu.

"In fact, we are willing to return royal immunity in the spirit of a constitutional monarchy. This is the real meaning of the change we are committed to bringing to the country," she said.

However, she clarified in a press conference later that she was not talking about the restoration of royal immunity per se but restoring the power of the Agong in the law-making process.

According to Wan Azizah, she was referring to restoring the Agong's power to reject a Bill in enacting a new law. At present, any bill that is not assented by the Agong will be passed in 30 days.

Growing support from Sabah and Sarawak

Wan Azizah today also vowed to pull off an "incredible performance" during Sarawak’s state election next year. She said PKR had thousands of new members, mostly from Sabah and Sarawak, a strong indication of winds of change sweeping the two states.

"If we were able to gain power in Sabah and Sarawak during the previous general election, we could have formed a new federal government by now. Insya’Allah this hope will materialise when the time comes," said the 56-year-old politician.

She added that PKR was currently in the midst of strengthening the party’s relationship with the two states to "ensure a more successful future" with them.

"We are also committed to our promise - where 20 percent of petroleum and oil revenues in Sabah and Sarawak will be given back to the people.

"We also promise to give more pro-active roles to these states at the federal level if we are chosen to lead the country one day," stressed Wan Azizah -

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