Pakatan Harapan is focused on the Sarawak election — Anwar

Anwar (centre), Chong (to his left) and other Pakatan leaders appreciating the words on the couplets after officiating the auspicious event.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Feb 1: Putting internal fighting and dispute aside, the Sarawak election due in 2021 is the main focus of Pakatan Harapan.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the party will go all out to ensure the coalition is fully prepared to take on the state ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

“This is what we have discussed with the leaders in Sarawak and I think we are quite established in our preparations, thanks to the leadership of (Sarawak Pakatan chairman) Chong Chieng Jen and the team,” he told reporters at the state Pakatan Harapan Chinese New Year Luncheon here today.

On the possibility of a new cabinet line-up, as far as Sarawak is concerned, when he takes over as prime minister (as speculated in May), Anwar replied: “Let me be the prime minister first, then this question will be answered.”

Anwar (seated centre), Chong (to his right) and other leaders pose for a photo before the luncheon.

In his speech earlier, the Port Dickson MP said the Pakatan coalition was all for human rights and equality regardless of skin, race or religion.

“Looking at race issue, our country respects humanity because God made us humans of all kind of skin colours, not to be enemies, but to know and respect one another.

“If there is element that could cause disturbance among the people, this is called the last refuge of a scoundrel,” he continued.

Anwar cautioned against patriotism that could breed racism and narrow xenophobic nationalism as the last refuge of scoundrels.

“They are not real battles. You cannot condone or seem to support the excesses, abuses and corruptions,” he said, in referring to those who draw the race card and using patriotism for personal advancement.

He assured that the Pakatan coalition will defend and protect the nation based on the principle of humanity.

He urged while member parties — PKR, Democratic Action Party (DAP), Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) — to stand firm together in that mission.

“The point of tolerance is on upholding the values and ethics, of knowing right and wrong, truth and false. We will fight the evil and cruelty and defend the good and fair.

“We will support the Malays who defend the good and fairness. If the Chinese defend justice and humanity, we support. It also goes to the Dayaks, Melanaus and others.

“If there are Melanaus, Malays and Chinese defending cruelty and corruption, we will fight back,” he said.

Anwar (centre) together with Chong (in white shirt) and Saratok MP Ali Biju (in red shirt) being welcomed by a lion dance upon arrival.

Meanwhile, Chong pledged support for Anwar to succeed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the eighth prime minister.

“We promise that Datuk Seri Anwar will be the eighth prime minister and that’s our agenda and the direction we should look forward to. We are here to show our support and keep our promise. For 20 years, Anwar has struggled together with us on the ‘reformasi’ cause,” he said.

Chong emphasised the need to start the new year with a correct footing, where all the four member parties move forward in its planning.

“The country is moving in the right track and our government is moving at the right direction. Even though there are a lot of sound and disturbances along the way, definitely, because life is full of challenges.

“Whatever it is, we must put aside the distractions and fix our mind at the right direction. New Year is about setting our priorities right,” he continued. — DayakDaily