PETALING JAYA: Singapore’s found-ing father Lee Kuan Yew’s remarks on Pakatan Rakyat in his book shows his alarm that it is an inspiration to the island republic’s opposition parties, said PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli.
“It is alarming to the People’s Action Party (PAP) that its opposition looks up to Indonesia and Malaysia as models for a more vibrant democracy.
“Lee appears to be making a pre-emptive move here by giving a negative review of Pakatan. He is trying to indicate that any similar coalition in Singapore will be branded just as negatively,” he said.
In his new book One Man’s View of the World, Lee labelled the Malaysian opposition as an “opportunistic ad-hoc group not held together by even vaguely coherent set of ideas but by a common desire to unseat the government”.
Rafizi said Lee’s comment was probably meant to “do a favour” for Umno and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“They share a common goal with Lee and PAP, which is to defend their long political rule in their respective countries.
“As such, I am not surprised that Lee is alarmed that in spite of the limitations in Malaysia, which are similar to those in Singapore, Pakatan has been able to make inroads,” he said.
Singapore’s ruling party PAP lost two by-elections recently amid rising discontent over housing, high living costs and immigration.
The party also suffered its worst performance ever in the 2011 general election, where six opposi-tion members were elected into Parliament.
The opposition’s victory in the by-election for the Punggol East district last January increased the parliamen-tary representation of the Workers’ Party to seven seats.
“PAP has long been able to ‘divide and rule’ the opposition groups, but now these groups are drawing a lesson from Malaysia to form their own coalition,” said Rafizi.
The Pandan MP added that Lee had been “out of touch” with the local political scene, and said Pakatan was bound by a constitution, which spelt out their common causes.
“Lee has also chosen to ignore that Pakatan has governed two of the most multi-racial states in Malaysia – Penang and Selangor – and was voted back with an even bigger majority in the last general election.
“This shows that we have endorsement from the public as a workable coalition and to say we are an ad-hoc group shows Lee is out of sync with the public here,” he said.
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