Pakatan must win over fence-sitters

(The Star) – Pakatan Rakyat should attract fence-sitters from among former civil servants in its quest to wrest control of Putrajaya, said PAS deputy president Mohamed Sabu.

He claimed there were many retired policemen, army personnel and former civil servants who did not join any political party.

“Pakatan Rakyat’s combined strength of PAS, DAP and PKR is not enough to win big in the general election. We must approach and get the support of this group to strengthen our Pakatan front,” he said on the sidelines of the third Pakatan Rakyat convention here yesterday.

The convention discussed the agenda under the Tawaran Buku Jingga (Orange Book Policies) aimed at attracting voters to join the coalition – namely the civil service, Felda, the economy and relationship between Federal and state governments.

Tawaran Buku Jingga committee chairman Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said their aim was to reduce the gap between the rich and poor, adding that this was different from that offered by the Barisan Nasional government such as the NKRA and the NKEA.

For Felda settlers, Pakatan Rakyat offers four resolutions, including expanding the Felda Plantations, providing new housing schemes and reviewing the settlers’ debts.

In the anti-monopoly policy, Pakatan calls for open tender for Approved Permits, direct channelling of subsidies to farmers, open retail distribution, a review of privatisation agreements in water and toll concessions, open tender systems and expanding the Competition Act 2010, among others.

To build better relationships between Federal and state governments, Pakatan calls for the distribution of federal revenues to all states, distribution of federal powers on several entities that should be under the state like public transportation, a review of all laws to avoid government monopoly, and acknowledge the special status of the people of Sabah and Sarawak.

Winding up the debate at the convention, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim declared that Malaysians were ready for a Malaysia Spring, similar to the pro-democracy Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.

Anwar noted that should Pakatan take over Putrajaya, it would be a no-nonsense administration.

“If you perform, you get to stay but if you don’t, you are out,” he said.

Other speakers during the winding-up session included PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said Barisan leaders should also publicly declare their assets now that Penang executive council members had done so, adding that such a move was a step towards reinforcing leadership with integrity.

Lim and his 10 state executive councillors had declared their assets last Thursday.