Monday, March 14, 2011

Pakatan all set for Sarawak polls

Source - Freemalaysiatoday

KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat has resolved ‘most issues’ regarding state seats in Sarawak and this included those eyed by Sarawak Nasional Party (Snap).

Voicing his confidence going into the soon to be held state election, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said the coalition was good to go.

An affronted Snap had recently voiced its disapproval following state Pakatan’s decision to allocate the party with only three seats.

Pakatan is hoping for straight fights in several state constituencies.

Snap has openly declared its aim to contest in 28 Dayak majority seats in the 10th state election.

The seats are also being eyed by Sarawak PKR, which is hesitant about taking on Barisan Nasional ally Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) seats in Malay areas.

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian had previously declared that the party would contest in 52 seats, an aim many have dismissed as ‘ridiculous.’

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang however was less effusive about the Sarawak situation.

He said the coalition still had ‘issues’ over certain seats, although these were few.

Abdul Hadi also urged the Election Commission to consider extending the campaigning period from eight days to 21 days.

Meanwhile Anwar also announced Pakatan’s intention to invite foreign MPs such as those from the Philippines, Australia and the European Union to act as election observers to the Sarawak state election.

Lottery ban

On another issue, Anwar said that six Pakatan representatives – two from each party – would be meeting with the Kelantan state government soon to discuss the recent lottery ban.

The six reps, he said, included DAP’s Rasah MP Anthony Loke Siew Fook, PKR’s Batu MP Tian Chua, PAS secretary-general Mustafa Ali and PKR information chief Nur Manuty.

He said the meeting would be held within the next few days.

Earlier this month, the Kelantan PAS government courted controversy when it announced that it would ban all forms of gambling in the state.

This move was met with some consternation, especially from PAS’ allies, the DAP.

Government rejects ICC

Anwar also touched on the government’s decision not to join the International Criminal Court.

Describing the decision as ‘strange’, he said only parties which had dictators and ‘cruel’ national leaders were adverse to joining the ICC.

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail had previously voiced his opposition against Malaysia’s involvement with the ICC, adding that the government needed to amend certain laws first.

On another matter, Pakatan also offered their condolences to the Japanese government over the recent tsunami and earthquake.

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