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Anwar downplays Pakatan PM issue

 | February 26, 2013

The PKR supremo said that Pakatan Rakyat never intended to reveal its candidate for prime minister in its manifesto unveiled yesterday.


PETALING JAYA: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim said today that Pakatan Rakyat’s candidate for prime minister is a non-issue.

He was answering questions posed by reporters on why the opposition pact did not reveal its prime minister candidate at its convention yesterday.

“It’s a never a problem. We never intended to reveal it in our manifesto. Even in 2008, we never revealed the candidate for prime minister,” said Anwar.

Yesterday, the Pakatan Rakyat convention in Shah Alam unveiled a new manifesto, with more goodies for the people in Sabah and Sarawak.

However, the Pakatan top guns did not announce their candidate for prime minister, fuelling speculation that all is not well in the opposition pact.

Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, said that only Umno seemed to be interested in Pakatan’s choice for premiership.

“Umno is concerned because it wants want to play up the issue. Barisan Nasional never revealed its candidate for prime minister in any of its manifestos for the past 50 over years,” he said.

Asked why the manifesto has nothing for the Indian community, he said that Pakatan’s ideals transcend racial and religious barriers.

“It’s a manifesto for all Malaysians. It covers everyone, unlike a BN manifesto,” he said.

Citing free education policy as an example, Anwar said that the policy would benefit those studying in vernacular schools as well.

“I spoke to several Indian leaders in Hulu Selangor yesterday and they were happy with our manifesto,” he said.

On how Pakatan plans to finance its pledges, such as free education and healthcare, Anwar said that it could be done by curbing leakages and graft in the public sector.

“The Auditor-General’s report itself stated that we lose billions in wasteful spending every year.

“With the existing resources, coupled with a clean and transparent government, we will be able to do it. It’s all about reducing the people’s burden,” he said.


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