PETALING JAYA: A photograph of several PKR and DAP leaders taken with members of the so-called PAS progressive faction is creating a stir.
Speculation is rife because the PAS group, known as G18, is said to be ready to take over the Islamist party’s place in Pakatan Rakyat.
The photograph of the 25 people together in a social setting has been making the rounds and setting tongues wagging.
Among those in the photograph are PKR vice-presidents Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin and Tian Chua, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok.
The PAS leaders are from the G18 action committee, including ousted deputy president Mohamad Sabu and former vice-president Salahuddin Ayub.
G18 was coined from the 18 election positions in the PAS central committee, which the progressive team fared badly.
The leaders, however, have downplayed the issue, saying it was a gathering among friends in politics and not to discuss about the future of Pakatan.
Shamsul Iskandar said the photograph was taken on Tuesday night at the residence of Tumpat MP Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar in Kemensah Heights.
“He hosted a buka puasa do and we were invited. It was just a social gathering, nothing more,” he said when contacted.
Asked if politics were discussed, Shamsul Iskandar said: “We are politicians. Obviously we will talk politics. But no, we did not discuss the possibility of a new Pakatan. Not last night.”
PAS’ Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad and G18 secretary said the committee had met at Kamaruddin’s house to brainstorm and look at its future.
“There’s a lot of organisational work that needs to be done. Since it’s the fasting month, we will use the time to go to the drawing board, settle administrative matters before we take on the next move,” he said.
The group plans to forge ties with Islam-based non-governmental organisations as well as non-Muslim civil movements.
Dr Dzulkifli said Kamaruddin was gracious to host the group’s buka puasa and invited several leaders and lawmakers from PKR and DAP to join in.
“It was just a get together. We did not discuss a ‘new’ Pakatan. Please don’t read too much into the photograph,” he said.
The photograph of the gathering also appeared on Kok’s Facebook page.
She wrote: “While PAS congress decision is to break off relations with DAP, but tonight it seemed to give hope to the birth of Pakatan Rakyat 2.0.”