PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian opposition stalwart Lim Kit Siang has called on parties in the country's Pakatan Harapan (PH) opposition coalition to present only one manifesto for the upcoming general election .
Lim, who is also DAP's advisor, said it was agreed at the PH convention on Saturday (Nov 12) that there would only be straight fights for seats and one manifesto for the Opposition front.
"We can only present to the people one manifesto or else we will be the laughing stock of the country if we have two manifestos, just like in the 1990s where there were two sides of the Opposition bloc," he said in his opening address at the PH annual convention on Sunday.
Pakatan Harapan (PH), a coalition of three Malaysian opposition parties, kicked off its first national convention on Saturday (Nov 12), hoping to showcase a united opposition front ahead of a possible general election next year.
PH was formed in September last year by the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party (DAP), the Malay-led but multiracial Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Amanah, a splinter group of Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS).
Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said he was in agreement with Lim.
"That is the better option to send a clear message to voters that the we are united and that we are serious about change and reforms," said Azmin, who is also PKR deputy president.
Earlier, Selangor DAP chairman Tony Pua said that the outcome of discussions on straight fights must known early so Pakatan parties could prepare for the 14th general election.
"If an agreement cannot be achieved, then it should be made known early so that we can get ready and strengthen ourselves to face elections, whether it will be one-to-one fights or three-cornered fights," he said in his speech at the party's convention on Sunday.
Referring to negotiations with PAS, Pua said discussions on seats could not go on until the last minute as that could affect the performance of the Opposition coalition and especially, Parti Amanah Negara's preparations.
"We have to remember, the stronger Amanah is, the stronger Pakatan Harapan will be. The stronger Amanah is, the weaker our enemies will become," he said.
On Saturday, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) declared that it would formally join Pakatan once certain issues, including the inclusion of PAS in the Opposition front, have been ironed out.
Its chairman, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, indicated that the newly formed PPBM was still holding talks with PAS, which is not part of the PH coalition on the matter.
He said that PPBM was keen to join the PH alliance, but was waiting for the Islamist party's reaction to its overtures first.