Anwar: Hadi’s third-vote remarks his own, Pakatan to discuss issue tomorrow


(Malay Mail Online) – Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has distanced himself from the controversial remarks uttered by his PAS ally in the increasingly acrimonious public spat with the DAP over the third vote.

The PKR adviser said the DAP’s bid to bring back local council elections would be discussed in a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leadership council meeting tomorrow, after PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang panned the idea, even claiming the return of the third vote could cause a racial split in the country again with a nod to the bloody riots of May 13, 1969.

“The statement issued was his personal opinion,” Anwar was quoted saying in Ipoh by Malay daily Sinar Harian in a report today, referring to Hadi.

The Permatang Pauh MP appeared to evade weighing in on the issue when asked, saying the three-party PR bloc supports the democratic process and as such, all proposals must be discussed together before making a common stand.

“We will identify all issues and opinions of all residents in a city before making any decision regarding the matter.

“Following that, we are expected to discuss the matter in a PR leadership meeting on Monday (tomorrow),” Anwar was quoted saying further.

In a statement published Friday in PAS-owned daily Harakah, Hadi claimed the Chinese-majority DAP was pandering to its support base in urban centres, and would cause a greater schism with Malay voters who mostly live in the countryside if local elections returned.

The Islamist party leader’s stand has since drawn support from Umno minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan who echoed Hadi’s claim of deepening racial polarisation in the country.

Conservative Malay broadsheet, Utusan Malaysia, also praised the PAS leader in its Sunday editorial column today, for standing up to the secular DAP which it claimed was attempting to erode the rights of the Malay community.

Local council elections were suspended in 1965 due to the Indonesian Confrontation.

The Confrontation ended in 1966 but local elections were never restored despite the promise made by the then-prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman in Parliament.

Citing greater transparency, the DAP has been seeking to reinstate the third vote and even passed it in the Penang Legislative Assembly, which they now control.

However, the Federal Court snuffed out their legal bid last year.