Wednesday, May 22

PKR vice president wants draconian laws removed

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Dr A Xavier Jayakumar

KOTA KINABALU: With a few days to go before Sabah Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) members cast their votes in the party’s on-going election, incumbent Vice President Dr Xavier Jayakumar Arulanandammy is taking time to meet up with grassroots leaders.

Dr Xavier who is defending the Vice President post, said with the party election in Peninsular Malaysia over, they are now campaigning in Sabah and Sarawak.

Sabah PKR members will be casting their votes this weekend, Nov 3 and 4 and those in Sarawak the following weekend. The party election result is expected to be announced on Nov 18.

E-voting was implemented in Peninsular Malaysia and there were some glitches in a few areas but all have been resolved, he said, adding that he does not foresee any problems in Sabah as PKR will ensure that there will be enough manpower to see that the process is smooth.

“I hope Sabah PKR members will give me their mandate to fill in the Vice President post. I have been with the party for 20 years, my services have been recognised and that is why I am now a full cabinet minister.

“My aspiration for the party is to see the vision and mission of the party and vision of a Malaysia Baru realized … to move the whole country forward to become a tiger in the region and also to be recognised as a country that is fair.

“As you know we are all working hard to implement law reforms, one of my biggest aspirations is to ensure that the draconian laws in the country are revisited and revised. Somehow we have to remove some of these draconian laws that are holding Malaysians back such as the Sedition Act, the Printing Press and Publication Act as well as the AKU for Parliament.

“The death penalty will be abolished and we are looking at human rights issues, slowly but surely we are going to make the changes,” stressed the Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister.

Dr Xavier told reporters yesterday that Sabah has the second highest number of PKR membership after Selangor and it has 25 divisions in the state.

“A lot of people have come to see me and is a good opportunity to talk about what is happening in the rural areas and what is their wish list as well for improvement in Sabah and how to develop the state.

“Their basic needs are only water and electricity supply and I will discuss with the Chief Minister on how to work together to bring about the necessary development in the rural areas in Sabah.

“There are some issues that we need to overcome but I am confident all this can be done if there is working relationship between the state and federal governments. I am ready to hear what is on the table and move forward in order to make sure that this new government both in Sabah and at Putrajaya will bring about the aspirations of the people,” he said.

According to him, there are huge expectations from the Malaysian public as far as these new governments are concerned and the rakyat expect them to bring about changes.

“I can positively say the way that we will move forward is to have programs, implementation of development projects in the coming budget. Some of the development projects in this year’s budget being re-looked into as to the cost and we are trying to bring down the cost the best we can so that the government can get the best deal which will go down to the people.