Sunday, September 14, 2008

PSM to meet Anwar before making Pakatan decision

PSM to meet Anwar before making Pakatan decision
14 Sept, 2008

By Christina Koh, The Star

IPOH: Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) wants to meet PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim before it decides on whether to join the Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance.

PSM chairman Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim said the newly registered party was not privy to Pakatan’s takeover plan and so was uncertain about where it would stand with the loose coalition.

“We would like to know what is happening and where we come in,” he told reporters at PSM’s state-level anniversary dinner at a temple here on Saturday night.

Dr Mohd Nasir said the party hoped to discuss with Anwar Pakatan’s stand on certain matters, since the alliance was made up of political parties with various ideologies.

“If (their policies) are people-oriented, then we would like to be with them. If the workers will not be exploited, then we want to work with them,” he added.

While stressing that PSM had a good working relationship with Pakatan, Dr Mohd Nasir expected the party to challenge the alliance on certain matters related to the welfare of the people.

“It’s not that we don’t want development. We want development, but not at the expense of the people,” he said.

He said PSM did not expect Pakatan to invite it to join just yet as it had only recently been officially registered and “many other things are happening.”

“It will take time so there’s no problem with waiting,” said Dr Mohd Nasir, who is also Kota Damansara assemblyman.

Meanwhile, PSM secretary-general S. Arutchelvan said the party was on a massive registration drive to recruit members and identify its active branches.

PSM currently has “offices” in seven states, with an estimated 10,000 supporters.

The party’s other major plans, he added, was to campaign on the “oil, economy and food” crisis, and push for local council elections in Pakatan states.

“We want the people to choose their own local government, like how Perak lets villagers have their own election (for village chief).

“We want that kind of democracy,” Arutchelvan said.

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