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Sunday, March 1, 2009

> Anwar: Soul-searching now

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told members of his PKR party today to embark on a soul-searching exercise and ask themselves if they had done enough to fulfil the promise of March 8.

In a special address here to party leaders just a week before the first anniversary of the general election which saw PKR and its partners make significant inroads into the dominance of Barisan Nasional, Anwar attempted to rally the faithful and acknowledge the pressure it has recently been placed under by the ruling coalition.

“If you are among those who are complacent or who feel as though the work is too hard and the sacrifice too great, let me remind you of how I felt from a dark cell, humbled by your courage, overwhelmed by your loyalty, and inspired by your extraordinary feats in the face of adversity.

“It is this spirit that propelled us into a new dawn and it is the same commitment and resolve that we must renew to raise our party to the next level,” said Anwar.

Today's meeting of PKR elected representatives and leaders was planned to relaunch the party's agenda for change.

He warned party leaders not to be preoccupied with government positions and awards but should instead focus on building the party machinery ahead of three crucial by-elections.

His special address comes amid intensified attacks from Umno and BN, which led to the fall of the Perak state government and the investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on Selangor's PKR Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim for alleged abuse of power.

Anwar urged party leaders to revisit the party's agenda and not to be satisfied with the victory last year.

“On this eve of the anniversary of our March 8 victory I ask you to reflect on whether you have worked hard to fulfil this promise.

"I ask you whether you have — in your capacity as a leader — done everything you could have to raise this party to the status which it deserves,” he said.

He also warned the opportunists in the party not to belittle the party's struggle by asking to be rewarded after PKR's success.

The former deputy prime minister said the party had lately been bogged down over issues of race, religion and the royalty, which he said could reverse PKR's efforts in promoting change.

“The current political scenario has put Pakatan Rakyat at a crossroads.

"We are facing an emotional propaganda — three Rs — race, religion and royalty. These three emotive issues have developed into the Malay psychology. If the people are not shown the real picture on these issues they will be fooled with arguments on the symbols of race, religion and royalty, which will bring their way of thinking back into the feudal era,” said Anwar.

“The issue of the Malay Rulers must be handled with moderation. We must be diplomatic but firm. It has to reflect mainstream thoughts and not just rhetoric,” he added - The Malaysian Insider.