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Tuesday April 1, 2008

PKR, PAS, DAP to form Pakatan Rakyat (updated)

MYT 4:29:44 PM

PETALING JAYA: The leaders of PKR, DAP and PAS have proposed to consolidate the cooperation between the three parties by forming the "Pakatan Rakyat".

PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that the Pakatan Rakyat would be led collectively by all three parties and pledged to uphold the rights and interests of all Malaysians.

"We will work towards common principles such as justice, good governance, human rights, accountability and transparency.

"With the results of the recent elections, the state governments of Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor will also be known as Pakatan Rakyat state governments," he said Tuesday at a press conference after meeting DAP and PAS leaders.

Also present at the press conference was DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Anwar said the policies of the state governments would be adopted in accordance with the policies of the Pakatan Rakyat and that a joint secretariat would be tasked with building the foundation and framework of the Pakatan Rakyat.

He added that a convention for all Pakatan Rakyat MPs and state assemblymen would be held on April 27 and that the name Pakatan Rakyat was still pending confirmation by the respective parties.

When asked how the different ideologies of PAS and DAP would be approached in the new coalition, Anwar said he did not see any difficulty.

Anwar and Abdul Hadi however were pressed on the significance of PAS wanting to form an Islamic state to which they both replied it was an issue that should not be made contentious anymore.

"It was not mentioned in the PAS manifesto and has not been mentioned for a long time. It is no longer an issue," Anwar said.

Abdul Hadi said that the issue should not be raised just to create trouble and that the truth was that Islam as a religion supported basic principles such as fighting corruption and creating good governance.

When asked who would lead the coalition, Anwar said no one person or party would have a greater standing and that it was the rakyat who would be the dominant party.

"The agenda is clear. Whoever is the Mentri Besar or Chief Minister, it makes no difference as they are tied to policies determined by the Pakatan Rakyat," he said.

It was also pointed out that a similar coalition was attempted and then scrapped in 1999 to which Lim said the parties had learnt from that, and that a new political scenario would emerge if the parties come together on principles that the people can support.

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