Free political detainees, Abdullah urged

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 02 Nov 2003

PENANG: The DAP believes that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will be an effective Prime Minister, given his long experience in the Government. 

Abdullah’s first option of considerable priority should be to improve the country’s human rights record, which was wanting in material respects, said DAP deputy chairman Karpal Singh. 

He said that Abdullah, as Prime Minister and Home Minister, should seriously consider releasing all political detainees in the country, just as his predecessor did on taking over as Prime Minister in 1981. 

In a statement, he said that Abdullah should also strive to repeal the Internal Security Act and all other laws providing for detention without trial. 

In Kuala Terengganu, PAS vice-president Datuk Mustapha Ali expressed the hope that Abdullah would resolve matters left outstanding during Dr Mahathir’s administration. 

This included issues concerning Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, people’s religious schools, and the failure of bumiputras to achieve at least 30% equity. 

“We hope Abdullah will not indulge in over-politicking in dealing with non-Barisan Nasional state governments,” he said after declaring dividends for shareholders of Amanah Saham Darul Iman yesterday. 

Mustapha also said that Abdullah should look into the withdrawal of the oil royalty to the state by the Federal Government and loans for water management. 

“We want to see how the new PM, who is also Terengganu Umno chief, will help the people of Terengganu,” he said. 

In Kuala Lumpur, Cuepacs president Nordin Abdul Hamid said that Abdullah would be able to take the country to greater heights as his predecessor had laid a strong foundation. 

Cuepacs would continue to develop a smart partnership with the Government, he said. 

The People’s Progressive Party voiced undivided commitment to Abdullah to ensure a smooth administration under his leadership. 

Its president Datuk M. Kayveas said that PPP had full confidence in Abdullah’s leadership and capability in bringing progress to the nation. 

“We believe that government policies can be continued for economic, political and social stability,” he said after the party’s supreme council meeting at its headquarters here yesterday. 

National Council of Women’s Organisation deputy president Ramani Gurusamy said: “We congratulate and welcome our new Prime Minister and wish him well as he continues to implement the blueprint already before him to achieve Vision 2020. 

“His caring ways, openness to ideas and commitment will guide him to lead the nation to greater heights and continued national unity.” 

In a statement, Angkatan Pelopor India Muslim Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan chairman Ramli Abdullah said the nation was blessed with another leader who could lead the multiracial people of the country. 

“We hereby pledge to give full support to Barisan Nasional under his leadership and to contribute towards victory for the coalition in the coming general election,” he said. 

The Federation of Peninsular Malay Students (GPMS) voiced the hope that Islam would be basis for all policy changes made by Abdullah. 

Its secretary-general Syed Anuar Syed Mohamad said that Abdullah, as a former GPMS president, should help enhance the country’s ability to produce a more knowledgeable society. 

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