Isnin, 11 April 2011
PKR tells Najib to name Taib’s successor, quit date
Najib’s Barisan Nasional (BN) is expected to keep Sarawak in the April 16 vote but could lose as many as 16 seats in the 71-seat assembly, double the number of opposition-held seats from the last state assembly.
PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim discounted Najib’s sincerity this afternoon, describing the BN chairman’s promise as “another cheap political gimmick to cloud the people’s judgement”.
Anwar predicted that Najib would fail to fulfil his promise as despite being the Prime Minister, he had no influence over the powerful Taib who has even stood up to strongman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad years ago.
“This promise was made earlier so either Dr Mahathir lied or he has no capacity to exert any influence over Taib,” said the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) de facto leader, referring to Dr Mahathir’s failure to hold Taib to a similar promise 16 years ago.
“This is a repeat over what has been said earlier. To me, there is no way that Najib can deliver.
“If at all he is serious and determined in doing so, he has to make a stand now — when is Taib going and who is taking over,” Anwar said.
Anwar’s PR ally DAP had earlier asked Najib to name Taib’s successor if BN wins the state in the election this weekend.
PR hopes to deny BN a two-thirds majority in the state legislature, in what it hopes is a repeat of Election 2008 when BN lost the key majority in the federal elections.
PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution had earlier shown the media a newspaper article on November 7, 1995, when Taib had reportedly promised to step down in 2000.
The article was titled “Taib to retire in five years” followed by a subheadline that read, “I’m only staying in power to make sure things are stable in Sarawak: CM”.
“When will Taib quit now? This is the question. When? 2015? Or 2020? Who will be his successor? Is it his brother? This question has to be answered,” said Anwar.
When asked later when would be a suitable date for Taib to retire, the opposition leader quipped, “Five years ago.”
Saifuddin, in reference to Taib’s 1995 promise, said, “Remind me again please, members of the media. What year is this? 2011.”
He said that Dr Mahathir, “the most powerful PM in the history of the country”, despite his strong influence, had failed to force Taib to step down.
“Now today, Najib has come to campaign in Sarawak and he says, ‘believe me, CM Taib will stop’.
“If a PM as strong like Dr Mahathir can fail, how can one like Najib, who did not get the people’s mandate and is merely continuing his predecessor’s mandate, make this become a reality?” he said.
Saifuddin also pointed out that Taib had only rececntly received fresh mandate from Parti Pusaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) to continue to serve as the Sarawak Chief Minister during its congress.
“He earned fresh mandate several months before the assembly was dissolved... this means that he has received the highest mandate in PBB to lead Sarawak BN.
“So how can Najib determine the date of his resignation or announce his retirement? This is something we must observe,” he said.
Saifuddin added that BN leaders in Sarawak have often said that there was no need for their counterparts in the peninsular who were not educated on the political landscape and climate of their state to help in their campaign.
“But clearly this assertion is now in trouble because now, the future of the CM is being determined by the Prime Minister.
“So it is not surprising that the PBB information chief had immediately responded to Najib’s words by saying that Taib should be given time to make his own decision.
“But which is which?” he said.
Saifuddin said that Najib’s six-day campaign in Sarawak was a clear signal that the Umno president had completely taken over BN’s election machinery in the state.
“He is not only taken over... he is leading it and he will be determining all the strategies. Everything has now been taken over by Umno,” he said.
In his speech yesterday, Najib had urged a crowd in a 1 Malaysia meet-the-leaders rally to believe that Taib’s resignation was imminent and a fresh lineup in the state leadership was on the cards.
In response, DAP today called on Taib’s immediate resignation to prove his sincerity.