Opposition, NGOs seek to meet PM

Pauline Puah, The Sun
Updated: 07:20PM Wed, 12 Dec 2007
ETALING JAYA (Dec 12, 2007): Four opposition parties and 19 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are seeking a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to sort out pressing matters in the country.

The group want to pursue an agenda of national unity and reconciliation among all Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who read out a joint statement to a packed press conference today.
More than 20 key leaders and representatives from the respective organisations attended the press conference.
Anwar said the group also wanted free and fair election and work towards resolving the serious national problems, among others the recent crackdown on street demonstrators.
Anwar said the group was troubled by the racial and religious antagonism that now pervades Malaysian society.
“Our foremost commitment is to national unity, multiracial solidarity as well as to the safety and welfare of all Malaysians.”
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who was also present, said the wish to meet the premier showed the opposition parties and NGOs were willing to alk. “We are talking about national reconciliation. Not national confrontation.”
Others present included PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, PAS election director Datuk Mustafa Ali, Parti Sosialis Malaysia secretary-general pro-tem secretary-general S. Arutchelvan, Women’s Development Collective (WDC) executive director Maria Chin Abdullah and Hakam president Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.
Also present were Suaram executive director Yap Swee Seng, Centre for Independent Journalism executive director V.Gayathry and Writers Alliance for Media Independence chairman Wong Chin Huat who were arrested by the police yesterday in Parliament house. They were later released.
Maria, Malik and Wong also read out their statements urging the government to respect the rights of people under the Federal Constitution.