Malaysia’s three main opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance Party, Parti Islam SeMalaysia and Parti Keadilan Rakyat have agreed to cooperate with each other in the upcoming March 8th general election.
They have decided to field single candidates in most constituencies in Malaysia to avoid contesting with one another and to provide a viable alternative to the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.
In an exclusive interview in Kuala Lumpur with former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from Parti Keadilan Rakyat, RSI’s Shereena Sajeed asked about the extent of the opposition’s preparations for the contest so far.
AI: We negotiated separately with PAS in the Malay heartland, with the DAP in the Chinese areas because we are able to at least engage with them. We have covered almost all seats except for one or two contentious ones with PAS. We’ve virtually resolved everything with the DAP except with Sabah and Sarawak which we hope to resolve by today.
In terms of Keadilan, which areas are you contesting and how many seats are you looking at?
AI: Keadilan is focused mainly on the mixed seats. We are a multi-religious, multi-racial party so therefore we cover the main middle ground. Although we do take a few predominantly Chinese majority seats and also Malay majority seats in the East Coast and the North. I can’t say for sure because discussions are still ongoing but I think we will exceed 70 seats, both in the Peninsular and the Sabah, Sarawak constituencies.
And what issues will Keadilan be focusing on?
AI: The main issue is governance and accountability. We’ve said that due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of leadership, the country has fallen in terms of competitiveness, foreign direct investments and the economy is of course faltering. We cite the example of Singapore, mainly because we started off as a country with relatively slight differences in economic standing. But Singapore has surpassed us in terms of per capita income by almost five times. There is something really wrong either with policy or governance and lack of accountability and massive corruption that has led to this state of affairs. MORE HERE
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