Kajang by-election: Ambiga wants clarity from Pakatan over Anwar as Selangor MB


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 06 Feb 2014

Ambiga speaking at a forum on the 'Kajang Move'.

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Rakyat must be upfront about whether Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is aiming to be the next Selangor mentri besar, former Bersih chairman Datuk S. Ambiga told a forum organised Wednesday night to discuss the "Kajang Move".

"To me, you don't ask the leader of the Opposition to take such a huge risk to be an assemblyman.

"The people need to know if they're voting for the future mentri besar of Selangor," said Ambiga, who was one of the speakers at the forum moderated by state Deputy Speaker Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

"People are also concerned that they're not seeing a united front. The people of Selangor voted resoundingly for Pakatan and for change. We need to see you (Pakatan) speak with one voice," said Ambiga.

The forum in Subang Jaya drew about 200 people, mostly Selangorians concerned over issues such as party politics, hidden agendas, racial tension and the overall political situation in Malaysia.

Earlier in the forum, PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli, credited as orchestrating the Kajang Move, attempted to justify it, saying it was necessary to change the status quo of Malaysia's political climate.

"If the status quo remains the way it is for the next few years, we are going to be a sitting duck," said Rafizi.

"Today, they raid a church, tomorrow they can raid a temple, there are endless possibilities with what they can play with race in Malaysia," he said.

"These are serious concerns. We need to resolve these immediately. We need to change the status quo," said Rafizi.

PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli was also one of the speakers at the forum.

"We need to change the political landscape and help to deflate the temperature of race and religion in Selangor," he said, adding that PKR assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh had vacated his seat willingly on Jan 27 to pave the way for change.

"It was agreed that the candidate (for the by-election) would be Anwar," said Rafizi.

"Could it have been more consultative? Yes, but I admit that not everyone would be able to stomach the risk," Rafizi admitted.

"But if we were to go back and forth (in discussion), our plan could have been leaked," he said.

"We were concerned that a longer process would no longer catch Umno by surprise.

"Hopefully, after we go through this very difficult period, things are more stable on the ground. We can focus on Putrajaya after Kajang," said Rafizi.

Ambiga, responding to DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua's statement on how it will "be the end" of Anwar and Pakatan if the Kajang seat was not won, said: "I'm sure your party is stronger than that".

Pua and PAS research centre director Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad had also voiced their support over Anwar contesting in the by-election.

"I urge voters to look at it as an opportunity. You are getting a second chance to vote. It's not often you can vote with the benefit of hindsight, this time you can," Ambiga said.

"If you like what Barisan (Nasional) is doing, by all means vote for them. If you don't like what Pakatan is doing, vote against them. I'm not telling you how to vote," said Ambiga.

However, Ambiga believes that there are people trying to cause problems.

"In this Kajang election, I ask for the people of Kajang to address this racism and attitude," said Ambiga, urging voters to be vigilant, and keep the elections free and fair.

"We don't like dirty politics. If they use dirty politics, vote against them resoundingly. If they're buying votes, vote against them resoundingly."

Ambiga also urged voters not to boycott the by-election.

"Those who want to boycott for being hauled out for another election, I urge you to rethink. You can speak with your vote, and I urge you to do just that in this by-election."

Polling for the by-election will be held on March 23, with nomination day on March 11.
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