Let’s talk, Anwar tells BN

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim signalled his readiness to hold unity talks between Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional when he said today that the opposition will accept the results of the 13th general election.

Leven Woon, FMT

PETALING JAYA: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim extended an olive branch to the ruling Barisan Nasional on Merdeka eve, asking for an open engagement between the two rival political coalitions to trash out national issues.

Speaking at a press conference at the PKR headquarters, Anwar said Pakatan Rakyat, the opposition pact made up of PAS, DAP and PKR, was willing to talk to BN despite its strong protest on the validity of the 13th general elections in May, this year.

“We are prepared to put aside our difference for the sake of the nation’s well-being and future.

“In this regard, we believe that it is imperative for the prime minister to convene without the slightest delay a round-table meeting between the BN government and Pakatan Rakyat to deliberate issues and formulate a comprehensive solution,” said the Permatang Pauh MP.

He, however, stressed that he was not proposing a unity government.

Anwar said at a time when the country is celebrating 56 years of Independence, it is witnessing greater polarisation of the communities and increasing divisiveness on religious matter.

“The tragedy in this is that not only is there a lack of leadership in ameliorating the situation but it appears that the government is allowing this phenomenon to worsen.

“Inspite of protests from concerned citizens and NGOs, the government has sanctioned the nationwide screening of a movie that will only serve to incite animosity even as its artistic value remains questionable,” he said.

He was making an obvious reference to Tanda Putera, a film which depicts the 1969 race riots toeing the government’s account of events. It features a scene of a Chinese man urinating at the Selangor MB’s residence.