The stage is set for an exciting encounter between two sworn political foes.
KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim may come face to face with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak at a Chinese New Year open house in Kajang tomorrow — and deliver highly charged political speeches.
The event is organised by Dong Zong, a Chinese education pressure group.
Anwar today said he would not avoid meeting Najib if both were to share the same stage at the gathering.
Both Najib and Anwar have agreed to attend the event.
Said Anwar: “What’s the problem [meeting him]? My battle is not personal, I’m not going to fight with him,” he said when asked by reporters whether he would meet Najib.
He was attending a Chinese New Year function at the Batu constituency here.
The encounter will whip up a frenzy of interest as the two top leaders have never met outside of Parliament since 2008.
According to media reports, Najib has informed Dong Zong about his attendance on Thursday. Yesterday, Anwar confirmed he would also be attending.
The open house is scheduled to begin at 10am at the Dong Zong headquarters in the premises of the New Era College.
Both Anwar and Najib are expected to deliver highly politically-charged speeches, should they appeared at the occasion at the same time.
Anwar said he will not be worried if Najib were to announce that the government will recognise the Chinese independent schools’ Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) at the function tomorrow.
He said Pakatan has already pledged to recognise the UEC three years ago.
“Recognising UEC is a common policy approved by the three parties in Pakatan three years ago. Najib will only now be responding to it, a month before the general election, and that is the big difference,” he said.
However, he added that the recognition of Chinese independent schools and UEC comes with the condition that the students must be able to master Bahasa Malaysia.
“We say we will continue to fully support all schools including the Chinese and Tamil schools,” he said.
On a separate matter, Anwar dismissed the controversy about him donning the Huguan Siou headgear and sash at a function in Sabah recently.
The accessories are reserved for the paramount leader of the KadazanDusunMurut (KDM) community.
The PKR de facto leader said he was only presented the headgear and sash by a local priest without being bestowed the Huguan Siou title.
“No, there was no announcement made, nothing was mentioned (about the title). My only concern at that time was whether there was a cross on the drape, because it would be used by Umno to attack me,” he said.
The incident has caused a stir with many Sabah-based leaders criticising Anwar as not being fit to wear the accessories because he was not an ethnic Kadazan.