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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pakatan to appoint own state legal advisors


Starting from today, Pakatan Rakyat states will appoint their own legal advisors and discard the current practice of having to elect their representatives from the Attorney-General Chambers.

Speaking at a press conference today, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said, “The legal advisors assigned from the Attorney-General Chambers are clearly not independent and this simply complicates matters at state level.

“Pakatan has come together today and agreed that this (appointing own advisors) is the best solution.”

The most recent example is the suit brought against the federal government asking it to make public the water concession agreement it signed with Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas).

Pakatan had blamed the Selangor state legal advisers for causing the delay in the case.

On Monday, the High Court ordered the federal government to make public the audit report and water concession agreement signed with the Selangor state government and Syabas.

Judicial Commissioner Hadhariah Syed Ismail said the disclosure of the documents would not be detrimental to national or public interest.

Instead, it would serve the public interest in keeping them informed of the workings of the government and to promote discussion of public affairs, she said.

Upset over racial statements

In another development, Anwar agreed with PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang in slamming Berita Harian for its news report yesterday headlined “Malays 1, Non-Malays 40”, saying the facts were incorrect.

The report stated that since the 2008 general election, the number of Malay and non-Malay voters registered with the Election Commission (EC) were in the ratio of 1:40.

“It is clear that the research carried out by the Umno Youth membership board (as reported) is completely wrong and has more to do with politics than stating the truth,” said Hadi

“I think it is best we avoid racial statements like this. Umno in this case is clearly scared that the Malay voters would vote for Pakatan instead,” he said.

Hadi instead suggested that the EC overcome this problem by providing automatic registration to every eligible Malaysian voter.

Challenge to the EC

Agreeing with Hadi, Anwar also challenged the EC to release the actual figures, including ethnic breakdowns for the public to see.

“In a meeting earlier today, all Pakatan members agreed that these numbers have never been supported by any reliable statistics. It just goes to show the EC’s failure in registering voters.

“We also have thousands of Malaysians overseas who should be eligible to vote. If EC is truly fair, it should take into account all these votes,” Anwar said.

“From the information we obtained, the ratio of 1:40 is not true. We challenge the EC to give the correct figures,” he added.

DAP youth chief Anthony Loke earlier today also challenged Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin to call for automatic registration of all eligible voters.

“If Khairy really positions himself as a radical centrist, I challenge him to call for automatic registration of voters. I will sign a memorandum with him and we can send it to the prime minister,” he said.

“If he declines, it clearly shows he is merely a centrist while others in Umno Youth are radicals,” Loke added.

courtesy of FMT

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