Question remains as to how Opposition will fare in Parliament

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 24 Sep 2015

PETALING JAYA: The formation of Pakatan Harapan makes DAP even more dominant in the new pact but may weaken the Opposition as a whole because PAS is not in the new coalition.

Analysts expect the bad blood between PAS and the splinter Parti Amanah Negara (Ama­nah) as well as DAP to boil over in the Dewan Rakyat when it reconvenes on Oct 19.

The new Opposition pact which replaces Pakatan Rakyat has 72 parliament seats, with DAP holding more than half (37) of them, compared to PKR which has 29 seats and Amanah with six seats.

“Despite the growing influence of DAP, the Opposition is divided without PAS, so we can expect to see more arguments breaking out between the parties at the next Parliament session,” said National Council of Professors’ political cluster head Prof Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak.

The changes, however, are not big enough to affect the voting on any upcoming Bill.

But since PAS, which has 14 MPs, is absent in the new pact, its stand on hot issues that may crop up at the next Parliament proceedings is now a question mark.

Mustafa said that PAS now had the flexibi­lity to decide on issues independently of its former coalition partners.

He said recent statements by PAS leaders on Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak indicated that the party had “softened” its stance on the Prime Minister, making the outcome of any no-confidence vote (if allowed by the Speaker) against Najib more unpredictable.

DAP Parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang declined to comment when contacted but PAS and Amanah leaders downplayed the possibility that the new pact could weaken the opposition.

PAS election director Datuk Mustafa Ali said his party would still cooperate with other opposition parties in Parliament including Amanah, on issues where they had a common stand.

He said the party had yet to discuss whe­ther its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang would seek to re-submit a Private Mem­ber’s Bill on hudud at the coming Par­liament meeting, but dismissed any possibility that PAS would join Pakatan Harapan.

Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub said the doors of Pakatan Harapan were still open to PAS.

“We are still open although they called us pengkhianat (traitors), let the past be. We formed Amanah and our motto is clear, which is to be progressive and inclusive,” said Salahuddin.

He, however, stressed that any decision would be discussed at the Pakatan Harapan presidential meeting.

“We do not want the same mistakes (in Pakatan Rakyat) to be repeated, so the terms and conditions of the new coalition will be signed together. We look forward to the betterment of Pakatan Harapan and to instil confidence in the people.”

Salahuddin added that a special committee comprising the secretaries-general from each party would be formed soon to iron out the details of the working of Pakatan Harapan.

“Then we will decide our roles in Pakatan Harapan, including in Parliament, and policies on other matters such as PAS,” he added.

Related story:

Kak Wan comes under pressure

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