The Edge Financial Daily's Yong Min Wei reported on Anwar's meeting with fund managers in Kula Lumpur several days ago. This should be a significant reminder to all that Anwar and his Pakatan coalition are earnest contenders for control of the federal government. The investment and business community's concerns about political changes will be assuaged to a large extent by these briefings:
KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim met fund managers this week to highlight some of the reforms he would introduce should he become the prime minister.
At a meeting in a city hotel on Wednesday, the former deputy prime minister briefed major fund managers on the proposed plans that he and the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition would implement should they take control of the federal government.
It is learnt that Anwar pointed out some of the failures in the implementation of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s policies and stressed that a PR-led government would be “very much different” from the current federal administration.
Anwar, the de facto leader of PR, assured the fund managers of the proper separation of powers in a PR-led government as fund managers were concerned about the current climate of governance in the country, including the independence of the judiciary, transparency and the central bank’s policies.
The fund managers are said to have questioned whether Anwar’s Sept 16 deadline to form a new government was realistic and whether the power balance would be politically stable. To this, Anwar answered that the deadline is on track and the new government would be strong.
The PKR leader hinted to the handful of fund managers who attended the luncheon that some 35 members of parliament (MPs) from the BN would defect before Sept 16, although the PR only needed 30 BN MPs to cross over to command a simple majority in the Dewan Rakyat.
It is believed that Anwar told the fund managers that he and the individual MPs who were willing to defect had a personal commitment to form a new government. He stressed that he was not wooing any particular BN component parties to jump ship.
Anwar’s office confirmed that the meeting involved some of the largest asset management firms in the local market.
On July 1, Anwar acknowledged at a press conference that four BN MPs, including two from Umno, were supposed to cross over that day but deferred their plans when a former PKR volunteer, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, lodged a police report alleging that Anwar had sodomised him.
In late July, the PKR adviser held a similar briefing with some 30 diplomats, mainly from Western missions.
So far, no BN MPs have crossed over although the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), with two MPs in the House, had publicly announced that it would support a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Anwar has to defeat BN’s Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah in the Permatang Pauh by-election on Aug 26 in order to return to parliament.
For PR to celebrate Malaysia Day in its true sense come Sept 16, Anwar must announce the defection of some MPs during the by-election campaigning to show that he has support in the government’s ranks. Without this, the people may think that Anwar is playing mind games instead.