‘Pakatan will win on policies’

Coalition’s track record will outlive any personality, says Nurul Izzah

(The Malay Mail) – Sound policies and a proven track record will outlive any personality.

This is the message of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar (pic), when commenting on claims the party and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would need to find a new game plan following the acquittal of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on his sodomy charge.

“The financial performance, governance, economic development and social cohesion achievements are evidence of our ability to lead and govern effectively,”she told The Malay Mail yesterday.

“We have achieved much more in three years than what Barisan Nasional (BN) has achieved in the 51 years it has governed most of the states.”

Political analysts had said that following Anwar’s acquittal on Monday, PR needed a new game plan to convince the people, by transforming itself from a personality-based party to a policy-based one.

Nurul Izzah, the Lembah Pantai MP, said PR was ready to govern.

“In Selangor, when PR took over in 2008, there was only RM400 million in cash reserves but as of 2011, we have managed to accumulate RM1.2 billion. Imagine what can be achieved at the federal level when we win Putrajaya,” she said.

She also explained that in Kedah, PR had succeeded in managing natural resources such as timber where the state revenue increased to RM19,000 an acre under PR from RM6,000 under BN.

“In Kelantan, we have managed with limited funds after BN denied the state its rightful oil royalties,” she said.

Nurul Izzah said that as a grouping, PR had grown “from a justice movement into a political coalition that wants to change and improve policies that will bring about change”.

“We are policy-focused. We have formulated the Common Policy Framework, Shadow Cabinet Committee, Buku Jingga, First 100-day Plan, and Shadow Federal 2012 Budget as policy frameworks at the coalition level, and much of our policy principles have been emulated by BN,” she said.

“Also, at party level, we have PAS’s welfare state. Since 2010, we have called for political reforms to complement the BN’s Government and Economic Transformation Programmes.

“In March 2011, I had submitted a private member’s bill calling for the revocation of the Emergency Declaration — and the subsequent removal of the ISA (Internal Security Act), the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA) and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA) — and replacing it with a comprehensive Democracy Rehabilitation Act but it was rejected by the speaker.

“However, six months later, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak tabled a similar bill, except it was less extensive and devoid of a comprehensive replacement of the laws promulgated during the Emergency.

“Of course, the ISA is to be revoked but replaced with a more sinister act. The UUCA will be marginally amended. The Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms is moving at a snail’s pace in comparison to the accelerated Peaceful Assembly Act.

“We are still waiting for the PPPA to be removed and replaced with a media council.”

Nurul Izzah also said PR was waiting for Najib’s reply to an invitation to an open debate on the economy with Anwar.

“We are more than ready to embrace policy-centred debates which allow the rakyat to make a choice between two legitimate political entities, predicated on free and fair coverage in the mainstream media to allow for informed decision-making,” she said.

“We are Malaysia, we are the most youthful, gender-balanced and diversified political group covering all political spectrums. We are the future, we are working and moving towards a better Malaysia while BN is the past and only wants us to remain the same.”