Sunday September 14, 2008
Stop playing the race card, Pakatan Rakyat tells Umno
PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Rakyat wants Umno to stop playing the race card for the sake of political stability.
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Opposition coalition did not want to allow the Government to create uncertainty or instability by using the race card whenever they were pushed into a corner.
“This is clearly an act of desperation. We urge the Government to respect the laws of the land,” he told reporters at PKR headquarters.
He was commenting on the detention of Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
Asked if the Opposition would have to defer their Sept 16 plans to topple the Government, Anwar said that of utmost importance now was national unity and political stability.
“This is why we are now demanding for an urgent closed-door meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss national security and the future of Malaysian politics,” he said.
Anwar said deferring the Sept 16 plan was not an issue as he claimed that the Opposition had the requisite number of MPs, but added that the use of the ISA was definitely to intimidate the rakyat and the Opposition.
“We will move (to take over the Government) in accordance with the constitutional provision and the mandate that we have.”
On whether more Opposition MPs would be arrested, Anwar said he heard the possibility of a second wave of arrests.
In Ipoh, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, while welcoming Tan’s release, said the detention should not have occurred in the first place as she was telling the truth.
He said the local media should be encouraged to tell the truth if the country wanted to go global.
“They (reporters) should be brave enough to tell the truth,” he said when visiting the Sin Chew Daily office here to show support against Tan’s detention.
Perak senior executive councillor Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said Malaysians would listen to rumours if the Government curbed press freedom.
PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub said the arrests were part of attempts to foil the Sept 16 plan to topple the Government.
“The arrests were similar to Operasi Lalang in 1987 at a time when Umno was heading towards a political crisis.
“In this context, we have information that about 15 more people from Pakatan Rakyat may be detained to deflect attention away from Umno’s internal problems,” he said at the PAS headquarters.
He said there were other laws to use against Kok and Raja Petra instead of the ISA.
PAS information chief Mahfuz Omar said the Government used the ISA as it did not trust the legal system to deal with the alleged offences committed by the three.