PKR wants PAS in new coalition

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) wants Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) to be a part of the new opposition coalition, PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali said, despite objections from the DAP and newly-formed political party Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah).

The PAS' feud with the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party (DAP) over Islamic criminal laws had led to the break-up of the tripartite Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance in June. Pakatan consisted of the PAS, the DAP and the multi-racial PKR.

Amanah, formed just last week, consists of breakaway members from PAS and is led by former PAS deputy president Mohamed Sabu.

Mr Azmin said PKR arrived at the decision of wanting PAS in the new opposition pact, after discussing the matter thoroughly, the Malaysian Insider reported yesterday.

"We discussed this for a long time and took into account the views and feedback we received from the de facto chief, who said PKR is always inclusive," Mr Azmin told reporters in Rawang yesterday, referring to PKR's de facto chief Anwar Ibrahim.

However, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said it would not accept PAS in the new coalition.

"How can we be part of the coalition when PAS will contest against us?" Mr Lim, who is also Penang's Chief Minister, told reporters in George Town on Monday.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang had said his party would contest the same seats as the DAP in elections.

Mr Azmin, who is also Selangor's Menteri Besar, said Mr Lim was entitled to his view about not wanting to work with PAS, the Malaysian Insider reported. But he went on to say that PKR, DAP and PAS leaders should discuss their situation, adding that saving the country hinged on their cooperation.

When asked if the new coalition would involve Amanah as well, he said PKR had yet to decide on that.

Amanah leader Mohamed Hanipa Maidin had said they should leave PAS to its "solo politics", citing the PAS' lack of interest in winning elections and its spat with the DAP as hurdles to cooperation, the Malaysian Insider reported.

In a separate development, Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah and eight others were charged yesterday over their alleged involvement in a series of #KitaLawan rallies on March 28. They faced charges that include participation in an illegal assembly and sedition, the New Straits Times reported.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2015, with the headline 'PKR wants PAS in new coalition'. Print Edition | Subscribe