Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Clear the confusion: does Pakatan Rakyat still exist?

Salleh Said Keruak

We are hearing contradictory statements from PKR, PAS and DAP that make up the coalition called Pakatan Rakyat. No doubt it is not a legally registered coalition like Barisan Nasional but it is still recognised as a coalition even if it is a loose one.

The issue now is: does that coalition still exist? We are hearing one party saying ‘yes’ and the second party saying ‘no’ and yet a third saying it is an internal issue between the first two parties and does not involve them, the third party.

We are still not clear as to whether PAS has been kicked out of Pakatan Rakyat. That seems to be the picture being presented although PAS denies it and insists that it is still in the coalition, which is supposed to no longer exist according to DAP.

If what DAP says is correct -- and they have asked the PAS representatives in the Selangor State EXCO to resign -- that would mean only DAP and PKR still remain in the Selangor government.

With DAP’s 15 seats and PKR’s 13, that would give them only 28 of the 56 seats, or exactly 50%, and this means Selangor is now a hung government.

The alternative could be for one or two of the PAS State Assemblypersons to resign from their party and announce that they are now independent but ‘PKR-friendly’. This would give them 29 or 30 seats in Selangor and therefore they would now have a simple majority.

Pakatan Rakyat has to make up its mind and not keep the people in ignorance. Either Pakatan Rakyat does or does not exist. It has to be one or the other. It cannot be both at the same time.

Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali will definitely not make any decision on sacking PAS because he owes PAS a debt for making him the MB. But then to continue supporting PAS means he must defy his own party, PKR. And this, too, is a problem.

And that is why Azmin had decided to do nothing -- so that he offends neither PAS nor PKR. But in politics this is not possible because you need to declare which side of the two warring factions you are on.

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