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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wan Azizah: No other party in Malaysia, SE Asia brave enough to hold direct polls


Dinesweri Pupanadan, Malaysia Chronicle

PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail defended her party’s decision to hold historic one-member one-vote election and slammed Prime Minister Najib Razak’s BN coalition for trying to rock her party and the opposition with false claims ahead of widely speculated snap general elections next year.

“No other party in this country or Southeast Asia is brave enough to do this. And at a time when enemies of democracy are becoming increasing phobic,” Wan Azizah, the wife of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, said in her policy speech at the PKR National Congress at the PJ Civic Centre.

BN's weak governance, policies

Wan Azizah also criticized the BN government's incompetency, blaming it for Malaysia's declining performance in several global indices on investment, corruption and transparency.

"They chant about promoting Malaysia to high economy status but they ignore the declining FDI. Malaysia's FDI dropped drastically from RM23.47 billion to RM4.43 billion. This is the lowest FDI for the last 20 years except in 2001 when the country recorded RM1.54 billion in FDI," said Azizah.

“World Investment Report 2010 also recently reported that the country experienced a marked decline in FDI inflow and an increase in FDI outflow reflects investor’s uncertainty in the management of our economy.”

She grilled Najib for unleashing a torrent of super-mega projects that analysts have said are bound to further cripple the country with debt. Malaysia's fiscal deficit hit a record 7 percent of gross national product last year.

“The BN economic planners seem to be separated from the reality of those living under hardships. As they sink into their dream to building a 100-storey building in their meeting rooms, the poor in the urban and rural areas cannot afford a single house. Not only are the numbers of low-cost or affordable housing are not sufficient, even when their application is received they still have to face many obstacles,” she chided.

She stressed that the opposition must capitalize on the Najib administration's shortcomings by continuing to place public welfare as a priority in the states the Pakatan Rakyat governed.

“Main issues plaguing the people like housing and employment must be tackled by PKR and Pakatan Rakyat. Malaysia needs radical reforms to resolve problems faced by the people and not depend on cosmetic transformation behind expensive public relation campaigns,” she added.

Education was another area she urged the BN to improve on, or risk further brain drain to other countries.

'Different leaders introduce different education policies. When the leader changes, the policy changes as well. Take PPSMI as an example,' Wan Azizah emphasized.

More to come

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