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Leaders of the Singapore Democrats met with Ms Nurul Izzah Anwar, MP from the Parti Keadilan Rakyat, last weekend. Ms Nurul Izzah, who is the eldest daughter of Malaysia’s Opposition Leader and former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim was in Singapore last weekend with her fellow MPs to give a talk at NUS Law School on the future of Malaysian politics.
Over coffee, Ms Nurul spoke about what she thought were the causes of the turn in favour for her party in the recent general election. She also spoke briefly about the conditions and the key role her father played in denying the ruling coalition Barisan National two-thirds majority in the Malaysian Parliament.
The MP for Lembah Pantai also intimated to the group how civil societies and political parties worked together in Malaysia. Groups such as SUARAM (Voice of the Malaysian People) and the Malaysian Bar Council provide training to political party members.
She noted that many NGOs in Malaysia are committed to speaking up against government repression. These NGOs work together with opposition figures and parties to further the cause of freedom, human rights and democracy for their fellow citizens.
“We are going to continue to work hard to become the government and to make sure that democracy in the country takes root,” the 27-year-old MP said.
Ms Chee Siok Chin said that the parties talked about NGOs and opposition parties in the countries on both sides of the causeway working more actively together.
“I feel that there is much room for closer cooperation between the two camps and that democrats in the two countries should strengthen our ties,” Ms Chee said. The SDP and PKR expressed a desire to foster better cooperation between the two parties.