|“Come September 16, we will show who has in fact been dreaming or bragging.”
So confident is Sarawak PKR chief Dominique Ng that he told a press conference this afternoon in Kuching that Pakatan Rakyat coalition could now count on more that 40 MPs to cross over from Barisan Nasional.
His statement came amid reports that a top PKR leader met with leaders of a BN component party in Kota Kinabalu this morning to pledge support for the opposition’s move.
Ng said in addition to individual MPs, he expected enough BN parties to join Pakatan for the opposition to have sufficient numbers to oust the government by the Sept 16 deadline.
Meanwhile, Ng announced that the state PKR would be holding a series of dinners, including one in Kuching on Sept 15 and another in Miri on Sept 16, in conjunction with Malaysia Day celebrations.
PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has on the weekend mooted the proposal to declare Sept 16 as a public holiday in all five Pakatan-held states in Peninsular Malaysia.
Ng, who is the party’s sole assemblyperson in Sarawak, added that it would be declared a public holiday in the East Malaysian state “when Pakatan forms the state government”.
According to Ng, Sept 16 was a public holiday for workers in Sarawak until 1994 when the Sarawak Labour Ordinance was amended by the state government.
Ng added the Federal Constitution was also very clear on the significance of those two days – Sept 16 is Malaysia Day, while Aug 31 is Merdeka Day.
The leaders of Sarawak PKR will gather at Padang Merdeka in Kuching on the morning of Sept 16 to commemorate Malaysia Day.This will be the fourth year the party is observing Malaysia Day with the hoisting of the national and state flags at the site.
Padang Merdeka, which is in the heart of the city, is where the Proclamation of Malaysia was read out on Sept 16, 1963 by a representative of the federal cabinet, the late Khir Johari, in the presence of the then state governor Tun Haji Openg and the then chief minister Stephen Kalong Ningkan.
Who are likely to jump?
There have been intense speculations in Sarawak and Sabah as to which BN component parties are likely to join Pakatan.
In Sabah, the Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp), led by former chief minister Yong Teck Lee, has been frequently mentioned, and this has not been denied by its leaders.
Another party on the list is said to be Upko, which is led by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Bernard Dompok, also a former chief minister of Sabah. The two parties have six MPs between them.
In Sarawak, one of the parties mentioned as a possibility is Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), led by state development minister Dr James Masing. It has six MPs.
A PKR source said the crossovers in Sarawak are likely to come from all the state’s four BN component parties – PRS, SPDP, SUPP and PBB. But their leaders have all publicly denied this.
The source added that the crossovers from Peninsular Malaysia are about equal in number.