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Anwar vs. Badawi Part 2: Battle in the Istana

Malaysiakini's report:

Pakatan Rakyat’s relentless pursuit to take control of the central government from Barisan Nasional could well take the opposition coalition to Istana Negara.


Pakatan had already sought an audience with the constitutional monarch to stake its claim on the federal government by sending an official letter to the king a few days ago, PAS Parit Buntar MP Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa told an anti-ISA forum in Penang last night.

If the king grants an audience, which Pakatan leaders hope will happen soon, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim would then produce the names of parliamentarians backing him to convince the monarch that a change in Putrajaya was inevitable.

Mujahid said the opposition coalition was banking on the king to advise Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to call for an emergency session of Parliament to face the vote of no-confidence which Pakatan intends to table.

Expressing confidence that the king would intervene to thwart a political crisis, Mujahid said the opposition camp was boosted by royal precedents set in its decisive intervention on the appointments of mentris besar for Perak, Perlis and Terengganu after the March general election.

Going the constitutional way

He said Pakatan’s priority was to exhaust all constitutional ways and means to pave the way for a smooth transition of power.

“We will never resort to any unconstitutional, unconventional and undemocratic means and will continue to pursue constitutional means to ensure a smooth transition,” the PAS leader said.

Anwar claims to have the backing of the majority of the country’s 222 MPs, said to be bolstered by defection among government lawmakers, to take over the federal government. The claim has been rubbished as ‘a political bluff’ by BN leaders.

So far, Pakatan’s attempts to trigger a change constitutionally have been futile.

Abdullah has refused to meet Anwar to discuss a smooth transition and the prime minister has also flatly rejected the opposition’s request to call for an emergency session to hold a parliamentary vote of confidence

“So the next stop is Istana Negara and we hope the king will intervene and advise the prime minister to hold an emergency parliamentary session.

“We can then hold a ‘winner take all’ parliamentary vote of confidence and see who commands the majority support of lawmakers,” said Mujahid, who is also the Penang deputy commissioner.

ISA has to go

Earlier at the forum held at the Penang Chinese Town Hall in George Town, Mujahid called on BN leaders, especially those from Umno, to realise that God had not bestowed them the birthright to rule Malaysia forever.

“BN should read the writings on the wall and face political reality. Be a gentleman and step aside for us to take over,” he said to the cheers of the packed audience.

Prompted by the recent arrest under the Internal Security Act of parliamentarian Teresa Kok, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, the opposition coalition has been organising a series of candlelight vigils and rallies to challenge the draconian law.

Pakatan has also transformed these gatherings over the past week to consolidate and galvanise support of civil rights movements and the public to force a change in Putrajaya.

Last night’s forum - ‘Abolish ISA. Abolish Barisan Nasional’ - organised by DAP is another indicator that Pakatan is capitalising on the government’s ‘ISA blunder’ to fast track its political agenda.

“If one wants to live in free country, one has to abolish ISA.

“For this to happen, one must abolish Barisan Nasional,” summed up another speaker, Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong.

Things are heating up! I trust that our DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda will act wisely!