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PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim wants Pakatan Rakyat to focus on policy issues along the socio-economic lines instead of just countering dirty politics in the run up to the next general election.
In his first ceramah after Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s political reforms announced on Malaysia Day and the online uploading of a new video clip concerning his alleged sex scandal, Anwar told a moderate number of people at the City Stadium Georgetown,  last night that Pakatan shall not be dragged into a pit of dirty and smut politics although such issues tend to be captivating and alluring to the masses.
“I was exchanging tweets with a young man who had asked if Prime Minister Najib has skeletons in his closet. I replied to the young man to stay focused. We are now only championing policy issues and will not be drawn by the smut out there,” Anwar said.
He said that despite the proposal to repeal the ISA, the policy issues of socio-economic and corruption remain at the heart of his struggle.
Anwar said his foes are drawing up smut politics to distract the people from the bigger issues such as the economic management.
They are also undermining the tolerance levels of race and religious issues to create a climate of fear and an uncertainty outlook.
“The issue of racism, corruption, nepotism and cronism however, have not gone away. They remained at the left, right and centre of the people’s disillusionment with Barisan Nasional.”
Solving problems of the Penang Malays
Anwar also said that he fully understands the grouses of the Malays in Penang, especially on their housing needs.
Anwar said the state government was now taking decisive steps to address the issues of the Penang Malays. Anwar blamed Umno for the plight of the Malay community here.
Almost on par with the Chinese community in terms of numbers, the Malays however lag behind others in the socio-economic context here.
The number one issue now in Penang is that they risk being evicted from their ancestry homes in many parts of the island because the land is marked and approved for commercial development.
Many cannot afford decent houses on Penang island because the property prices here are quoted as one of the highest in the country and to make matters worst, the compensation offered to squatters by the landowners and developers, are said to be relatively low.
Against this backdrop, Anwar said the approach taken by Pakatan would be altogether different compared to Umno’s policy.
The state government would focus on the poor by appointing companies who would sincerely help them instead of just enriching themselves, he said.
In the past, Umno’s approach was to appoint cronies to develop housing projects, but they end up enriching themselves, while not building enough to meet the demand for affordable units, he claimed.
Anwar also said that it was also now up to Pakatan to mend the cloud of suspicions about race and religion in the country after Umno in their haste to cling on to power, is supposedly willing to compromise on these two contentious subjects.
Rising debts
PAS vice-president Husam Musa, who also spoke at the same function, claimed that the federal government’s debts continue to rise.
He said the current debt ratio is 54% to the country’s annual gross domestic produce (GDP) output figure.
“Malaysia’s debt figures have been growing since 1998.”
He said the country is only repaying past debts and, has yet to conceive a policy to address its total debt level despite rosy estimates of economic growth and foreign direct investments.
Husam also said the repeal of the ISA means that the election is near.
Pakatan would be ready to claim Putrajaya as Husam sternly believes that Najib is the last ever prime minister from Umno.
Husam also said that the percentage of goodwill payments made by the national oil company Petronas would be increased to 20% across the board annually and it would be distributed to all states, so more development projects can be carried out for the people.
This would be a reality if Pakatan wins over Putrajaya, he exclaimed.


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