Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Anwar: Pakatan deal to ensure no erosion of Malay rights


SHAH ALAM: Malays in the five Pakatan Rakyat held states have been told not to fear that their rights would be eroded as the three parties in the coalition have signed an agreement to uphold the rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had signed the agreement on Sept 8 as proof that all three parties would uphold Malay rights.

The agreement, he said, clearly stated that the coalition would uphold the principles in the Constitution and protect the rights of bumiputras and uphold the status of Islam as the official religion, Bahasa Malaysia as the national language as well as uphold the status and rights of the Sultans.

“We signed an agreement that cannot be changed by any party so there is no truth to claims that Pakatan Rakyat will take away the rights due to pressure from members within the coalition,” he said during a briefing for religious school teachers in the state that was organised by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) here on Monday.

The four-paragraph letter agreed by the three parties also said that the Opposition leaders rejected narrow-minded race-based politics as it would disrupt the unity and harmony of the community.

Anwar said the people, especially teachers in religious schools, should not fear that Pakatan Rakyat state governments would no longer look at developing Islamic studies in the five states.

He said the people should not be taken in by false accusations hurled at the Pakatan Rakyat states as the governments were working to improve religious education and needed the cooperation of the teachers to implement new programmes.

He also claimed that it was difficult for the state governments to explain such issues to the people as the media would not report accurately the explanations given by Pakatan Rakyat.

He said he had asked the Pakatan Rakyat state governments to be more careful when issues arose and to take the necessary steps to solve the problems so that the media did not have a chance to play up the issues.

Asked if his statement only applied to the mainstream media, Anwar said all media practitioners, including those owned by the Opposition, needed to follow proper journalistic ethics.

Anwar: Deal to ensure no erosion of Malay rights
Malaysia Star