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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

‘Anwar will remain opposition leader’

Sulaiman Kamal | 8:39 PM | Best Blogger Tips

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The DAP maintains that Anwar Ibrahim will continue to lead Pakatan Rakyat irrespective of the outcome of his Sodomy II trial.

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng, today confirmed that Anwar Ibrahim would remain the opposition leader regardless of the outcome of the Sodomy II trial.
“There will be no replacement of the opposition leader whether or not he winds up in jail,” he told the media at the launch of the Georgetown Festival 2011 this morning.
“When I spent my nine months in jail, I still remained an MP. So Anwar will not be replaced if he is jailed. Read my lips and take it from me.”
The Penang chief minister also assured that Pakatan Rakyat would not disintegrate if the outcome of the trial is not in Anwar’s favour.
Calling this speculation a “fallacy by the BN-media”, he said that the relationship among the three Pakatan component parties remained strong and a breakup was not on the cards.
However, Lim stopped short of revealing whether Pakatan had spoken of an alternative plan in the event of Anwar’s imprisonment.
“Whether or not the trial outcome will have a negative or positive effect on us is yet to be determined,” he said. “Let the events unfold. I don’t want to say anymore for now.”
On the recent subsidy cuts, he criticised the government for hitting the poor while letting the rich off unscathed and free.
“The greatest opium is greed for corruption and lust for power,” he stated. “The government should remove these big opiums instead of the small opiums of sugar and petrol. The subsidies are not hitting the corporate giants but regular people like you and me.”
Perpetual motion
Earlier, Lim described Penang as a “city in perpetual motion after being in limbo”.
“You need to pause and reflect on Penang… to reflect on the significance of life. And a good arts and culture festival is like a good opium!”
He pointed out that the island state was now enjoying international recognition, referring to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Beijing Urban Construction Group and the Penang government during a visit by Chinese Premier, Wen Jia Bao, recently.
The project involves the construction of a 15.3km billion-ringgit road and tunnel to ease the island’s traffic woes.
“The big powers here felt it was not worthwhile to notice Penang,” Lim said. “But Penang was the only state to exchange an MoU with China. And now Penang wants to also be noticed on the arts and culture stage.”
According to festival director, Joe Sidek, the state government was contributing RM1.2 million to this year’s festival, almost triple that of last year.
“It’s a contribution well spent because everything is done via open tender,” Lim said to chuckles from the crowd.

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