IPOH, Jan 18: Pakatan Rakyat leaders have welcomed the call from DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng to stay focused on winning the hearts and minds of moderate Malaysians or ‘Middle Malaysia’, so as to bolster the coalition’s bid to win the federal government at the next general election.
“We are a coalition that stands for moderation, not extremism. We insist on building an inclusive society for all based on the principles of mutual understanding, respect and trust between the various ethnic and religious groups,” Nizar added.
“We certainly welcome the strategy mapped out by Guan Eng and DAP,“ PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution told Harakahdaily.
“He suggested the direction that Pakatan must take if it is to win over Putrajaya and this is the middle path - where there is space and equality for all racial and religious groups. PKR agrees with this and believes it is also what the majority of Malaysians want and aspire to. But sadly, it has not been practiced by the BN government despite five decades of rule.”
Achievements in the states will be scrutinized
In a broad-ranging speech delivered at the DAP National Convention 2010 held in Ipoh on Sunday, Guan Eng had said that “Middle Malaysia prefers co-operation not conflict, consultation instead of confrontation and an inclusive, shared society rather than an exclusive, separate society.”
“We want no part of the extremist fringes with pronouncements and positions that frightens off any decent Malaysian,” he told the crowd of more than 1,200 delegates, who gave him a standing ovation.
The DAP leader, who is also Penang Chief Minister, also warned that Pakatan must not rest on its laurels. All eyes were on the five states that it won in the 2008 general election, which include Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan.
“Our performance, or the lack of it, in the states will either be held against us or propel us to national power. We must go beyond cosmetic change,” Guan Eng said. “We must not just be the default choice of the voters merely because our traditional opponents are destroying themselves by the day in in-fighting.”
He also reiterated that so far, the Pakatan state administrations had governed better in the past two years than the BN had in the past 20 years.
“For instance in Perak, land is given free to the people regardless of race. In Penang hard-core poverty has been abolished in one year, what BN could not do in 51 years. In Selangor water is given free," he said. "In all states, money is handed back to the people and Chinese, Tamil, missionary and Islamic religious schools receive yearly allocations for the first time in their lives.”
Guan Eng reminded the Pakatan partners of DAP, PAS and PKR to stay united to their common cause of justice and equity for the people.
"Remember that DAP will never win alone. We nearly won all the seats in Negeri Sembilan but were still unable to govern. We need to win as a coalition, as a full partner in power together," he said.
“Let us renew our commitment to the consolidation of PR to provide a viable alternative to Barisan Nasional and form the next Federal Government based on PR’s Common Policy Framework or Muafakat Rakyat.”