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Zaid and SAPP's Yong appear in support in PKR congress - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

Former minister Zaid Ibrahim and Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) president Yong Teck Lee made a special appearance at the opening ceremony of the PKR annual congress today.

pkr congress 291108 zaid ibrahimZaid and Yong were among more than 4,000 guests, delegates and observers present at the Malawati stadium in Shah Alam, Selangor where the congress is held.

Zaid, an ex-senator, resigned as de facto law minister in September in protest over the use of the Internal Security Act (ISA) against an opposition politician, blogger and a journalist.

He also wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi urging him to repeal the ISA.

Yong’s Sapp left the Barisan Nasional coalition, also in September, over its frustration with the delay in getting a sustainable solution to the horde of problems afflicting Sabahans.

Their presence at the PKR congress today fuelled more speculations on rumours of their intention to join the Anwar Ibrahim-led opposition party. Both have not ruled out the possibility previously.

Dayak, Kadazan dances featured

Top Pakatan Rakyat leaders who showed up at the opening this morning include DAP leaders Dr Chen Man Hin, Karpal Singh, Lim Kit Siang, Teresa Kok and Ronnie Liu. Also present were Perak Menteri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, PAS vice-president Husam Musa and the party’s Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad.

pkr congress 291108 culture perfomance 2A number of bloggers also made their presence felt today. They include Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Haris Ibrahim who were spotted in the t-shirt of civil social movement Barisan Rakyat.

A total of 1,927 eligible delegates and 1,200 observers are attending the congress this year.

The opening ceremony this morning featured various multi-racial performances, including the traditional dances of the Dayaks and Kadazans which were arranged for the first time. The performers received loud applause from the audience.

The cultural dances from the ethnic communities in Sabah and Sarawak seem to send the underlying message of the party’s efforts to give more recognitions to the two East Malaysian states. PKR has recently drummed up a groundswell of support from the people of Sabah and Sarawak.

The national congress is the first since the opposition party’s powerful showing in the March polls.

From one parliamentary and one state seat in 2004, the multiracial party gained significantly from widespread voter disillusionment and resentment to win 31 parliamentary and 41 state seats.

Under Pakatan, which includes Chinese-based DAP and Islamic party PAS, the opposition won 81 parliamentary seats and took power in five states.

After the general election, Anwar has repeatedly claimed that he had secured enough defectors to form the federal government through a simple majority.

However, he missed the declared deadline of Sept 16 and has recently played down the possibility of a takeover, saying that he was in “no hurry” to topple BN -