Saturday, November 29, 2008

Anwar says march to victory has only been delayed

SHAH ALAM, Nov 29 – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim admitted today his plans to topple the Barisan Nasional (BN) government had been foiled but he did not say whether he had abandoned the idea of engineering defections to take power.

"Yes, there have been setbacks. We skirted with destiny on Sept 16 and despite our best efforts our march to victory has been delayed. I empathise with you and with the people of Malaysia," the PKR de facto leader said at the party national congress here.

"We are all forced to further endure the slings and arrows of an incompetent government that has lost touch with the people," he added.

Speaking before 2,000 party delegates at the PKR annual congress, Anwar took the opportunity to rally his supporters and attempted to redefine his promise for change.

"Although our promise has not yet been fulfilled, the Pakatan Rakyat leaders and I remain committed to the agenda for change and our tenacity has never been stronger," said Anwar to loud cheers from the crowd.

His fighting words to the party faithful come amid a sense of waning momentum on the part of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) challenge to the BN federal government.
The BN's transition plans, which will see Datuk Seri Najib Razak take over as prime minister from Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi next March, has brought renewed stability to a BN government which was badly shaken by the resurgent opposition boosted by the March general election results.

"I ask you, first as Malaysians and second as members of Keadilan, let us prepare ourselves with a renewed resolve and the courage of conviction that with our efforts a thousand flowers of freedom will yet bloom in Malaysia," declared Anwar.

He also urged party members in BN-controlled states to work harder to ensure the party's victory.

"To those living outside the Pakatan states, the task is formidable. You believe in Keadilan and you believe that with Pakatan Rakyat the future of the country can be great. Yet, you live in the stronghold of Barisan Nasional. We need your unwavering commitment and we need you to work harder than ever before so that Pakatan Rakyat's banner can be raised throughout Malaysia," said Anwar.

The Permatang Pauh MP, who was welcomed with Malaysian multicultural dances as he walked into the Malawati Stadium here, also reminded the delegates of the party's extraordinary performance in the last general election.

"Our successes in 2008 are immense and we should be immensely proud. After two successful elections we have proven that the Pakatan Rakyat coalition is strong and unified," he said.
Anwar is expected to address a public rally later this evening to explain why he had failed to form the federal government on Sept 16. -- By Adib Zalkapli, M/Insider

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