By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani (The Malaysian Insider)
KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 – PKR deputy president Azmin Ali said today that the “Demi Rakyat” campaign will be the party’s theme in facing the next general election expected within the year.
PKR yesterday launched the “Demi Rakyat” website, ahead of a campaign to focus on the economy and social issues to convince fence sitters to lean towards Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
Taking a leaf from Barisan Nasional’s (BN) playbook, the PKR campaign will be led by celebrities who will focus on issues that the party believes are important to neutrals.
“The campaign and theme for PKR for the general election is “Demi Rakyat” … its logo shows that PKR is a party that has potential in the future of representing the old and younger generations,” he told reporters during a press conference at party’s headquarters here.
Located at demirakyat.org, the campaign appears to already have signed up personalities such as actor Abdul Kadir Abdul Manap, better known as Man Kadir, and singer-composer Mohd Khair Mohd Yasin.
The “Demi Rakyat” campaign will be fully launched at the party’s national election convention in Shah Alam on Sunday, a public event that will showcase PKR’s key themes for the polls.
Azmin also denied that the party was jumping the gun by holding the convention this weekend.
“I have said earlier that we do not know when is the exact date of the election so as a political party we have to be prepared for any eventualities.
“We still believe that the present administration will call for a snap election as soon as July before Ramadhan. So we have about a month from now to get our machinery on track and that was the reason why we decided that June 19 is the best date to hold our national election convention,” he added.
The campaign also takes a leaf out of the Bersih rally planned for July 9, which, although backed by PR, is led by activists to increase its appeal to neutrals.
As of the beginning of this year, 610,731 new voters are up for grabs, having registered after the March 2008 polls. The Election Commission (EC) said Malaysia now has some 12 million voters, less than half of its 28.5 million population.
The first Bersih rally in 2007 calling for electoral reforms gathered as many as 50,000 demonstrators and was said to be a key factor in record gains by the opposition in Election 2008.
PR swept five state governments and denied BN its customary two-thirds majority in Parliament by securing 82 seats.