Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pakatan forms council to counter BN and federal discrimination

A formal Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Chief Ministers Council and Secretariat was established today to counter what they claimed is discrimination by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Speaking to the press this evening after meeting his fellow PR mentris besar, Penang Chief Minister and DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng said they were fed up of being left out by Abdullah, who only met with Barisan Nasional menteris besar.

“When MBs of all states meets during the Council of Rulers, we are excluded by the Prime Minister, who meets only BN MBs separately at the end.”

Lim said they were left with two options, to either go back to their states or wander the streets of the city they were in. “We have been patient for nearly a year and as leaders who are democratically elected by the people we felt we had no choice but to form the council.”

The establishment of the new council was formally called the Mentaloon Declaration by Kedah MB and state PAS commissioner Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak who hosted the meeting in Dewan Sri Mentaloon, which is at his official residence, here.

He said the council will be used to co-ordinate the activities of the five states and was necessary to reduce miscommunication between leaders. “Many feel that we (PR Chief Ministers) are contradicting each other and through the council we hope to sit together and iron out our differences.”

Perak MB and state PAS secretary Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said the council will meet at least twice a year and will be chaired by the menteri besar hosting the event.

Selangor MB and state PKR liaison chairman Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said the Council was an opportunity for them to exchange ideas and learn from each other. “It will also enable us to manage our states more effectively.”

Kelantan MB and PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat was at the meeting earlier but did not attend the press conference.

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