PAS: Opposition alliance has 'only fainted, not dead'
MALAYSIA'S Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) will stay with the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to keep the opposition coalition alive, said the Islamic party's newly appointed election director yesterday, three days after another member party declared that the alliance no longer existed.
"Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is not dead, only 'pengsan' (fainted)," PAS' Mustafa Ali said at a press conference held at the Terengganu state liaison office, referring to the coalition.
He added that PR was just facing a hiccup following the Democratic Action Party's (DAP's) decision to withdraw from it.
"DAP is the one which decided to leave Pakatan; not PAS or PKR," he said, recalling that in 2001, DAP also left another coalition but returned in 2008 to form PR.
He added that no party could live alone and a coalition was needed.
Mr Mustafa also referred to PKR president Wan Azizah's statement that PKR would stick with PR.
"There is no issue of Selangor falling to the opposition as we have also been instructed to stay with the (Selangor) government," he said, affirming PAS' support for Selangor Chief Minister Azmin Ali, who is from PKR.
PR was formed in 2008 - comprising PKR, PAS and DAP - to work towards the ouster of the Barisan Nasional government.
But Lim Guan Eng, the DAP secretary-general, unilaterally declared on Tuesday that the coalition no longer existed, following a disagreement with PAS over the implementation of Islamic law.
PR was in control of three states - PKR-led Selangor, PAS-led Kelantan and DAP-led Penang - before DAP bolted.
"We must find the right prescription to continue with the coalition as the current prescription has a side effect," Mr Mustafa said, referring to PAS' broken ties with DAP in PR.
Meanwhile, Lim Kit Siang, the DAP political adviser, said his party was searching for a new "political realignment" in preparation for the next general election.
"It must be a coalition based on principles of the people's interest," the Gelang Patah MP said outside Parliament.
"We are working with PKR in Selangor and Penang," he added, also affirming DAP's support for Mr Azmin.
PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli said yesterday that PKR will not abandon the DAP-led government in Penang, which would collapse without its support.
The support of DAP and PAS is also essential for the survival of Mr Azmin's government, he said.
"PKR has taken a position to accept the reality and it is better to move forward and try to forge a new alliance," said Mr Rafizi, without elaborating.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK