SHAH ALAM (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) on Thursday said a statement that it had issued on the status of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition alliance should not be interpreted to mean the coalition had split.
"Pakatan Rakyat still exists,'' deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali said on Thursday, after chairing a meeting in Shah Alam on Thursday.
Mr Azmin said the three parties in the coalition - the PKR, the Democratic Action Party (DAP), and the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) - acknowledged that not everything was rosy and was aware that there were issues that the alliance needed to address.
Mr Azmin had been asked if the opposition-controlled Selangor state government would continue to function following the ongoing squabble between the DAP and PAS over the latter's calls for strict Islamic law.
He said his party had released its statement because it felt that the action taken by DAP "was a bit too hasty".
"Therefore we see that Pakatan Rakyat no longer functions formally," he said. ''That's all. Don't interpret beyond that,'' he added.
DAP chief Lim Guan Eng had on Tuesday announced that his party would no longer work with PAS, a decision it made in light of a recent move by PAS at its muktamar, or annual congress, in which the Islamist party had cut ties with the DAP.
A day later, the PKR released a statement attributed to its party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail saying the party "expresses regret on the resolution that was accepted without debate at the 61st PAS muktamar and subsequently the DAP Central Executive Committee's announcement of the end of Pakatan Rakyat that Keadilan considers hasty".
"In light of this, the political coalition that is Pakatan Rakyat no longer functions formally," the statement said.
Meanwhile, Selangor PAS commissioner Datuk Iskandar Abdul Samad who was also met after the meeting said that he would meet up with PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang later on Thursday to discuss on the situation in Selangor, where PAS holds 15 seats in the state assembly.
Asked if the resignation of PAS members in Penang would happen in Selangor, he denied this and added that the state administration was still functioning as usual, adding that it would prioritise the people's issues.
''We are still working together. Our focus is on the people as they are at the losing end.
''The welfare of the people now is important,'' he added.
Penang State exco Elizabeth Wong said that it was possible that a new coalition that will work together will be formed, and urged all sides to give Mr Azmin some time to resolve the issue.
''A coalition is a very common thing in any electoral system...I think we need to give the menteri besar some time to work things out,'' she said.