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Bukit Selambau: PKR man has what it takes, says Anwar Ibrahim

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on April 2, 2009


Our man has what it takes, says Anwar



S Pathmawathy

bukit selambau by election anwar ibrahim ceramah 010409 03Picking a rookie to contest in the Bukit Selambau state by-election in Kedah has raised eyebrows and fueled anger among some of the local leaders. However, Pakatan Rakyat supremo Anwar Ibrahim is confident that S Manikumar has what it takes to win the seat.

Last night (March 31) , the opposition leader attempted to clear any doubts regarding the PKR candidate’s capabilities during a ceramah.

Arriving at the ceramah in Taman Kelisa around 11pm straight from Bangkok, he told some 1,500 people that although Manikumar, 32, was politically inexperienced, he was willing to learn. “People said the same thing about (Nurul) Izzah (Anwar) when she contested against seasoned politician Sharizat Abdul Jalil in the Lembah Pantai constituency in the general election but despite all criticisms, Izzah prevailed,” he said, referring to his 27-year-old daughter who won the parliamentary seat in the last election.

Similarly, he said, local boy Manikumar will be able to shoulder the responsibility given proper guidance. Moreover, he explained thatbukit selambau by election pkr candidate s manikumar campaign 300309 03 Pakatan was not playing the ‘racial card’ as accused by Barisan Nasional component party leaders by placing an Indian. “We brought him here as a member of the Indian community but he is a candidate representing PKR, DAP and PAS,” he added.

Turning his focus to the states helmed by Pakatan Rakyat, Anwar said the respective state governments have done so much for the people over the past 13 months compared to BN over the past 50 years. Kedah is one of the states under Pakatan control.  He also criticised the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for (allegedly) favouring BN.

“When it comes to us, even cows donated for sacrificial purposes they (MACC) can find fault with Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim on technical terms but the thousands of ringgit which have gone missing and years of unaudited books, they cannot investigate fast enough,” he said.

Who is afraid of Altantunya?

Meanwhile, Anwar also told the crowd that Kedah state exco and former Bukit Selambau assemblyperson V Arumugam had expressed an interest to campaign for Manikumar. “However, I was worried that if he comes here he might disappear like S Balasubramaniam (who made a statutory declaration against incoming Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak linking him to the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu),” he said.

Arumugam Vengatarakoo resigned from his post two months ago, claiming to have come under intense pressure and received threats to join BN. Later, Anwar told reporters that Arumugam contacted him personally and expressed his desire to campaign for the PKR candidate. “Besides that, Arumugam also wanted to explain why he resigned and so forth… but I was not too sure (with regards to his safety),” he said.

Anwar also dismissed speculations that Manikumar was picked because the latter was related to Arumugam. “Maybe related to Adam,” he quipped. Apart from this, Anwar also commented on the police warning against raising the Altantunya matter and making seditious remarks during ceramah. “Who is scared of touching on the matter, it is not us, it is them (BN) and the cops are pulled into their political games by issuing warnings that are beneficial to them,” he said.

Despite the ban, Altantuya’s case crept into the speeches of lawmakers Saifuddin Nasution (Machang MP) and Abdul Wahid Endut (Kuala Terengganu MP) who spoke before Anwar’s arrival. As for PKR Jerai division chief B Kalaivanar’s resignation, Anwar said: “Well, he can choose to leave the party because we did not consider him a suitable candidate for known reasons. You can ask people on the ground.”

Asked on Kalaivanar’s claim that Indians in the state are being neglected and this would affect PKR’s chances. “That is his claim but you can ask the electorates, I don’t want to venture into that because generally the level of support from the Indians in particular has been very encouraging,” he said.

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