Pakatan wants dialogue with BN to ease racial tension


The opposition coalition says it is willing to cooperate with the government to serve the people’s best interests.

By Anisah Shukry, Free Malaysia Today

Pakatan Rakyat today invited Barisan Nasional to an “urgent” discussion on racial as well as economic issues plaguing the rakyat; in response to the recent rise in racial slurs as well as attempts to evoke the May 13 incident.

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said the PR leadership was concerned how certain quarters were raising the May 13 and racial issues to frighten the rakyat from voicing their dissatisfaction over rising cost of living.

“It is clear to us that economic issues, issues of poverty and the rise in prices of goods are issues that the rakyat are concerned with, but they have been twisted (by certain quarters) to scare them away.

“For instance, the kangkung issue was an economic issue, but it has been linked to May 13. So this is why we suggest that Pakatan Rakyat immediately hold a dialogue with BN not only on economic matters, but racial issues as well,” Anwar told a press conference today.

The opposition leader said this after attending a meeting with the Pakatan Rakyat leadership council.

Anwar said the opposition coalition had decided in the meeting that it was willing to cooperate with the government to serve Malaysians’ best interests.

“This is so that if there are any signs of racial tension, it can be handled well to save the rakyat, especially those in the lower strata of society.”

“We urge the prime minister cum BN president Najib Tun Razak to immediately rise to this call and hold discussions with us on how to resolve the tensions that have been rising,” said Anwar.

DAP: We don’t want May 13

DAP national advisor Lim Kit Siang, who was also present at the press conference, said the party did not want a repeat of the May 13incident, which was evoked during last Saturday’s protest by various Malay-based groups in Penang.

Although the protest saw a few local Umno leaders in attendance, party state deputy chairman Reezal Merican Naina Merican has distanced the party from the banners, which read: “Because of DAP leaders’ mouth, May 13, 1969 happened… want some more?”