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Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim offered Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) promise today that the pact’s dream of wresting federal power is not to take revenge but to fulfil the people’s wish for a fair and effective government. The opposition leader said should PR capture Putrajaya in Election 2013, its plan was not to imprison or unfairly punish its political foes in Barisan Nasional (BN). Doing so, Anwar (picture) told the audience at PR’s fourth national convention and election manifesto launch here, would neither ensure the country stays peaceful nor lead the nation to a bright future. “This is important because many have asked... And we repeat — we want to take power not to take revenge or put our enemies in prison. “We must be strong on this... We want to take power to fulfil the programmes of the people’s agenda and not to take revenge,” he said.

“But what we do need to do... is to take back monies that have been stolen,” he added to loud cheers from the audience at the Shah Alam Convention Centre (SACC) here. Anwar outlined several issues that the pact highlighted in its election manifesto, including abolishing the present system of granting taxi permits to selected companies, which purportedly profit from the drivers’ labour. He singled out the RM250-million National Feedlot Centre (NFC) cattle farming scandal, saying PR would dissect and examine details in such projects to ensure that the monies are recovered and returned to taxpayers.

“This is the kind of action we plan on taking, taking into consideration the due process and rule of law,” he said. Anwar also pledged to only cancel or review deals where cheating is found, and will not compromise on any unfair allocations that are detrimental to genuine business owners or the general taxpayer. “Lynas compromises on the people’s safety... we will take action. Independent power producer (IPP) deals which contribute to high electricity rates, these need to be reviewed,” he said. Earlier today, PR unveiled its election manifesto, promising a complete revamp of the country’s economic approach with the aim to ensure every Malaysian household draws a minimum monthly income of RM4,000 by the end of its first term.

The pact also enforced its pledge to drop fuel prices and electricity tariffs, scrap toll payments, reduce car prices, free education, as well as adjust the maximum tax band to apply to incomes of RM400,000 or more annually, instead of the current RM250,000. PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli, when announcing details in the pact’s “people-friendly” manifesto, said PR’s focus was on raising incomes by creating better and more job opportunities with higher salaries. “We want to repair and reduce income disparities here, unlike under Umno-Barisan Nasional’s (BN), where the poor only becomes poorer and the rich, richer.

“Because their economic approach is race-based, with their 30 per cent Bumiputera equity target, while ours is on improving incomes regardless of race,” he said. Rafizi also outlined four main methods in PR’s plan to improve Malaysia’s economy, including the targeted creation of one million additional jobs by reducing dependence on foreign labour in stages, creating a smart economy based on principles of justice, reviewing public concessions and ending government monopolies, and reforming the education system.

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