Pakatan Rakyat vows to bury differences, strengthen alliance through camaraderie

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has vowed to strengthen understanding between its component parties as it seeks to continue the "Reformasi" (reform) agenda in states under their control.

In a joint statement released on Saturday, PR leaders said the coalition would strengthen its political cooperation in respect of the "joint policies it aims to implement".

"We have observed that the spirit of understanding and camaraderie within Pakatan is fundamental to our struggle to bring change and reforms in the political, social, and economic sphere of our beloved country," the statement said.

It comes at a time when cracks in the uneasy three-party coalition were exposed over whether Abdul Khalid Ibrahim would be replaced as Selangor state Menteri Besar.

The embattled Mr Khalid Ibrahim, facing increasing criticism from within his own party as well as Selangor voters over the poor handling of various issues, had refused to relinquish office after PR agreed on replace him last month.

Mr Khalid's stance threatened to split the alliance especially since some leaders from alliance partner Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) came out in his support and opposed the decision to replace him with Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, wife of PR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

The situation came to a head when a conversation over the social media between several PAS leaders discussing the possibility of leaving the coalition was leaked to the public.

"The coalition also promises to strengthen its political cooperation in respect of the joint policies it aims to implement," the statement by Anwar Ibrahim, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, and Democratic Action Party leader Lim Kit Siang said.

The component parties also reaffirmed their commitment to addressing issues facing the coalition in a collective and principled manner, based on their shared values and beliefs.

PAS has also denied issuing a letter stating that it had withdrawn from Pakatan Rakyat. Party vice-president Salahuddin Ayub said the anonymous letter, which used the PAS letterhead, and was purportedly signed by secretary-general Mustafa Ali, was a dirty ploy used by certain parties to divide the component parties within Pakatan.

"I wish to emphasise that the PAS stand until today is to remain in Pakatan Rakyat. And this stand has never changed," he said.

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