‘Pakatan govt unlikely if Anwar is jailed’

By Patrick Lee, Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: PKR Youth warned that a Pakatan Rakyat government would not be possible if PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim lands in jail over his Sodomy II trial.

“The Barisan Nasional government is using all methods at its disposal to send Anwar to jail. We cannot let this pass, as Umno will deny the people a chance to see Pakatan come to power,” said PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar at the ongoing seventh PKR Congress at the PJ Civic Centre here today.

His statement was a far cry from former deputy presidential hopeful Zaid Ibrahim’s, who advised the party to move beyond Anwar’s sodomy court case.

Referring to the PKR supremo as the Nelson Mandela of the East, Shamsul said that Anwar’s struggle was comparable to that of recently freed Myanmar freedom fighter Aung Sun Suu Kyi.

“The party’s struggle to get justice for Anwar is symbolic of the people’s wishes for justice,” Shamsul told several hundred PKR Youth members at the congress.

“If Anwar is not treated fairly, then how can ordinary people or even foreign investors who don’t have connections expect to be treated fairly?”

He added that Anwar’s quest for justice was also an effort to free the judiciary from the clutches of the ruling government.

Because of this, he said PKR Youth would focus on removing BN from power. Shamsul said that more attention would be given towards states that remain under BN control.

“Our mission is to topple BN and to set up a people’s government. For that, we need a Youth wing that is strong, firm, and prepared for anything,” he said.

He said that the party secretariat would be strengthened with the addition of full-time workers, as well as the introduction of more attractive pay schemes.

Shamsul also said that fresh PKR recruits would be trained under the Youth Division Training Scheme. The Youth squad will become the permanent machinery of the Youth wing.

Youths are not Pakatan’s vote bank

Shamsul said that the youths’ presence would be felt at election campaigns, adding that various bureaus would be fired up to ensure the party would be ready to form the next government.

PKR Youth will concentrated on strengthening Pakatan’s Youth secretariat but the youths could not be seen as Pakatan’s vote bank.

“They can change direction whenever we are not playing our role,” he said, adding that PKR Youth had to be involved in all levels.

The Youth chief also took a strong stance against racism, saying that PKR Youth is dedicated to stamping out race-based NGOs, such as Ibrahim Ali’s Perkasa.

“We will continue to ask that racist organisations like Perkasa be banned,” said Shamsul.