Ku Li: Amanah ready to work with Bersih
SUNGAI BULOH: Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today said that his Angkatan Amanah Merdeka (Amanah) would cooperate with polls reform group Bersih if both shared similar objectives.
The Gua Musang MP and Amanah president said the movement – which had also been vocal in calls for poll reform – welcomed cooperation with Bersih but he remained silent on the prospect of joining Bersih’s planned mass protest on April 28.
“Yes on beliefs that we both share, we can cooperate with them. Amanah will cooperate with those who want to work together,” he told a press conference here after opening his group’s local chapter.
Razaleigh, affectionately known as Ku Li, found Amanah as a pressure group on Putrajaya and it has been critical towards the Najib administration on several issues, including demanding for poll reforms to be implemented before the 13th general election is held.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had recently said that it would look into the 22 point recommendations made by the parliamentary select committee (PSC) which he set up on the matter but failed to give assurance that the suggestions would be in place before he calls for elections.
While opposition lawmakers blasted the PSC as a failure, Bersih in an immediate reaction said it would launch Bersih 3.0 – a planned nationwide sit-in rally with the main event being held at the historic Dataran Merdeka.
Its predecessor, Bersih 2.0, which saw tens of thousands march in the city centre despite blockades and a harsh crackdown that received worldwide attention, forced Najib to concede on the need to clean up the election system.
The PSC was subsequently set up in a move aimed at mitigating a potential voter backlash. Bersih leaders hailed the rally a success.
Up to voters
Razaleigh had said in the past that Bersih’s rising popularity was the Najib government’s own doing, criticising the government’s failure to engage and heed the group’s demands for a free and fair election, demands which he deemed as legitimate.
His criticism on his own party, however, drew flak from Umno’s senior leaders and party members including the alleged call for the Kelantan prince not to defend his seat in the coming polls.
Speaking on this, the Gua Musang MP said although it was up to Najib to decide on the matter, his fate was still ultimately up to his constituents.
“It’s up to the voters. I respect various views so it is up to them,” he said in response to queries on the alleged calls for him to make way for others to stand as the ruling coalition’s new Gua Musang candidate.
Any move to replace Razaleigh as the Gua Musang MP would likely face stiff opposition given his popularity in the Malay-majority seat.
By Syed Jaymal Zahiid, April 8, 2012
Source : Free Malaysia Today
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