Anwar confident Pakatan can win Putrajaya

By Clara Chooi, The Malaysian Insider

LINGGI, July 25 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sounded an early victory horn for the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) last night, with predictions indicating that the coalition was already knocking on Putrajaya’s doors.

The PR de facto leader declared in a political rally at Kampung Linggi here that should snap elections be called as early as today, the Barisan Nasional (BN)-led Negeri Sembilan would fall into PR’s hands.

“Look at the last general election. In Negeri Sembilan, we were close to winning. If we push them just a little, that is it.

“I am confident that if elections are called tomorrow, the BN Negeri Sembilan government will fall,” he said to a small crowd gathered at an empty field in the village here.

Negeri Sembilan presently hangs precariously in BN’s hands, with a six-seat gap between the rival coalitions in the state legislative assembly.

In Election 2008, PR scored 15 seats compared to BN’s 21.

BN, however, stemmed the tide when it retained the Bagan Pinang state seat during the by-election last October and broke the opposition’s winning streak.

During the poll, the BN cleverly pitted former mentri besar Tan Sri Isa Samad against PAS’ Zulkefly Mohamad Omar.

Anwar also claimed PR’s only stumbling blocks were the states of Johor, Sabah and Sarawak, implying that the coalition was confident of its chances in the remaining states.

“Where are we weak? In Johor, a little, and in Sabah and Sarawak. But if you look at what is happening in Johor, it is clear that they (BN) are scared. They do not even allow us to have ceramahs there,” he said.

The Permatang Pauh MP pointed out that if the BN was truly confident of its support in Johor, it should not have a problem with allowing PR to hold its regular political rallies.

“If they are truly so powerful, why are they so afraid? Like for me in Permatang Pauh, if they want to hold a ceramah, I tell them go ahead because we are confident,” he said.

He chastised the government for failing to show the true meaning of democracy and independence when it blocked its people from speaking freely during such rallies.

“What is the meaning of Merdeka? Half a century of independence and we still cannot hold ceramahs? Are we back to the colonial days?

“Is Najib called Sir Najib Macmillan and Rosmah called Lady Macmillan?” Anwar asked with a laugh when referring to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

He accused Najib of being “jealous” of his international popularity and retaliating by accusing him of paying for foreign media coverage.

“CNN interviewed me and they said I paid them to do so. Al-Jazeera featured me and I was accused of paying.

“I do not pay, they invite me so they pay for everything. On the 16th, I have to attend a conference on the Islamic economy in Jeddah… they pay for everything. They even give me an allowance but there is no need to ask how much.

“They are just jealous because I am given international recognition,” he said.