Malaysia's PKR says it never betrayed political cooperation with PAS

PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah insists the party have tried to work with PAS but has acknowledged the split.
PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah insists the party have tried to work with PAS but has acknowledged the split. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has never betrayed its ally the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) throughout their political collaboration, PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said on Friday (March 12).

Datuk Seri Wan Azizah said that PKR had tried its best to maintain cooperation with the Islamist party but acknowledged the party's decision to sever ties with the PKR.

In a statement on Friday, Dr Wan Azizah said that the PKR supported efforts to strengthen the Syariah Courts.

On Thursday, the PAS Syura Council at its meeting endorsed the decision made by the party's recent muktamar (congress) to end political ties with PKR. The council, made up of PAS' most senior clerics, is the party's highest decision-making body.

Despite the Syura Council's decision, Dr Wan Azizah said the Selangor state government under the leadership of Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali would continue to function as usual as it was formed on the people's mandate in the last general election.

PAS has 13 seats in the Selangor legislative assembly. PAS won 15 seats in the 2013 polls but lost two after Morib assemblyman Hasnul Baharuddin and Hulu Kelang assemblyman Saari Sungib jumped ship to Party Amanah Negara in 2015.

Dr Wan Azizah added that they were committed to defending Kelantan, Selangor and Penang in the upcoming general election.

She also reiterated PKR's commitment to oppose the ruling Barisan Nasional, saying that all its decisions including on the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections were to defeat the ruling party.

"All progressive political parties must join forces to save Malaysia by setting aside their respective interests and prioritising the people's agenda," she said.

PAS' decision to terminate political cooperation with PKR was based on three reasons - the failure by PKR to show support for PAS' Islamic agenda, including the tabling of the proposed Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965; PKR's attack on PAS leadership; and its decision to work with others who want to topple the Kelantan government, besides going against PAS in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections.