PAS to be excluded from Sabah's new opposition pact

PAS to be excluded from Sabah's new opposition pact
File photo: Malaysia's opposition leaders (from right), Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang of Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS), Mr Lim Kit Siang of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of the National Justice Party, or Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), signing a framework of common policies for the coalition at a People's Alliance, or Pakatan Rakyat (PR), convention on 19 December 2009.

KUALA LUMPUR: PAS will be excluded from Sabah's new opposition pact - tentatively called Pakatan Rakyat Baru - in a move by DAP to protest against the Islamist party's ambition to pursue hudud in Kelantan.

Sabah DAP deputy chairman Stephen Wong said it would meet Sabah PKR on Monday to discuss the proposed new alliance in the state.

"Hopefully, from the meeting, we can work on it," the Sandakan MP told reporters in Parliament yesterday, adding that the new pact would include smaller parties in Sabah.

Asked how such a formation would impact the existing political relationship in peninsular Malaysia, Wong said Sabah had its own autonomy.

"It will, however, be decided at DAP's CEC (central executive committee) meeting," he said.

When contacted, Sabah DAP chairman Jimmy Wong said the move was in line with party adviser Lim Kit Siang's call to form a Save Malaysia Coalition.

Perak DAP chairman Nga Kor Ming had said that PAS' decision to ignore its coalition partners would result in a new opposition pact - a new Pakatan.

In Petaling Jaya, MCA publicity bureau chairman Datuk Chai Kim Sen said DAP had known about PAS' hudud ambition for years.

"The joint agreement signed between Lim Guan Eng and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang was for the sole purpose of letting PAS pursue its goal of an Islamic state using its own methods," said Chai in a statement.

He said the Save Malaysia Coalition proposal was just a way to divert public attention from the fact that it had failed to confront PAS.

If DAP was really serious, Chai said it would have left Pakatan immediately instead of staying put so as not to lose Malay supporters.

"So when DAP itself does not dare part ways with PAS although it claims to have been backstabbed, what position does it have to challenge MCA and Gerakan to leave Barisan Nasional (over hudud)?" he said.

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