Wan Azizah tries to avert looming political crisis in Selangor

Wan Azizah tries to avert looming political crisis in Selangor
PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

PETALING JAYA - PKR has broken ranks with DAP on the situation in Pakatan Rakyat and has taken the stand that the coalition still exists and is far from dead.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail stressed the status quo of Pakatan and said the three governments of Selangor, Kelantan and Penang would continue to function as before.

Her brief but carefully worded press statement issued late yesterday also implied that PKR was not on the same page as DAP, whose secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had declared that Pakatan "ceased to exist".

It would appear that as far as PKR is concerned, Pakatan is still around even though DAP and PAS are at each other's throat. Her aim is to avert a looming political crisis in Selangor.

Dr Wan Azizah also quashed the prospect of a snap election in Selangor by declaring that Pakatan's spirit of co-operation in Selangor would continue under the leadership of Mentri Besar Azmin Ali and also in Penang where Lim is Chief Minister.

She said PKR would continue to give support to Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob in Kelantan based on Pakatan's common policy framework.

But PAS and DAP got a ticking off from her. She said it was regrettable that the PAS resolution to sever ties with DAP during the PAS muktamar earlier this month was passed without debate.

The action had resulted in DAP coming out with the hasty announcement of the end of Pakatan.

However, she admitted that Pakatan could "no longer function formally".

She said PKR would continue to lead efforts to build a coalition among political parties, NGOs and influential individuals against Barisan Nasional.

Lim's statement on the end of Pakatan was widely seen as a unilateral decision that did not have the consensus of PKR or PAS leaders. His pronouncement has sent shock waves across the national political landscape and caused confusion among members of the three parties.

The Pakatan crisis is taking place amid speculation of a new Malay political party being set up to replace PAS. The new party is expected to draw big names from PAS like Dr Mujahid Yusof, whose late father was a PAS president.

Meanwhile, DAP will continue the drive to soften its Chinese image by recruiting well-known Malay faces. Former UIA law lecturer Dr Aziz Bari is expected to join DAP this week.

Dr Aziz, an expert in constitutional law, had contested the general election under the PKR ticket for the Sabak Bernam seat but lost to Barisan Nasional.

National laureate Datuk Samad Said, 80, had also signed up as a DAP member at a ceremony in Kota Baru last week.

The relations between the three parties began unravelling after the Kajang Move but ties between DAP and PAS hit rock bottom after PAS moved to implement hudud law in Kelantan. The last straw was when the PAS muktamar agreed to end ties with DAP.

Political analysts said Pakatan needed to rebuild the opposition grouping into a more solid pact.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak lecturer Dr Jeniri Amir said merely trying to maintain the current loose coalition would not work in the long run.

"If Pakatan really wants to aim for Putrajaya, it must re-align its strategies and create a new, more solid pact.

"A loose coalition is not going to work because it will not stop problems flaring up between DAP and PAS," he said.

Universiti Sains Malaysia Assoc Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said the current Pakatan framework fell apart as it was based on a relationship of trust which had broken down between DAP and PAS.

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