PKR said today that it would play the role of mediator between PAS and DAP to ensure that Pakatan Rakyat does not split up, following the latter’s decision to end ties with the Islamist party’s president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang over the hudud issue.
PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli said the party’s political bureau had held a meeting last night at which it was decided that PKR would meet separately with the warring PAS and DAP leaders to discuss the issues threatening to split the seven-year coalition.
“We want to sit down with PAS and DAP leadership. At the end of the day, even the most difficult issues have been resolved by sitting down and discussing,” he said at a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.
“Pakatan is like a tripod. We cannot survive without one leg. In spite of the miscommunication and internal problems, we have our common interests and we will move along the same direction.”
DAP said yesterday that although it would remain in PR, it was ending all ties with Hadi following the latter’s decision to go against the coalition in tabling a Private Member’s Bill on his own without discussing it with the rest of the leadership.
“DAP is unable to work with a PAS president like Hadi Awang who persists in such dishonest and dishonourable acts,” secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said.
“As Hadi is the PAS leader in PR, DAP’s decision to end all ties with Hadi will effectively put the PR leadership council in limbo. DAP will meet the PKR leadership to discuss the future course of PR.”
Lim later told reporters that Hadi should leave the opposition coalition if he insisted on implementing hudud in Kelantan.
Hadi had come under severe criticism after failing to agree to the decision made at the PR leadership council meeting on February 8, where it was agreed that Kelantan PAS’s hudud bill to amend the state’s Shariah Criminal Code Enactment II (1993) would first be discussed by all three PR party leaders, before it was tabled in the legislative assembly.
The frictions between both parties came to a head after Hadi had gone ahead to submit a private member’s bill on March 18 to Parliament without presenting it first to the PAS central committee and to the PR leadership council.
Rafizi said today that although the matter cannot be swept under the carpet, the hudud issue is not big enough to put the coalition at a breaking point.
“We had also discussed our differences about the hudud in 2011 and resolved it. In the end, the commom interest of the coalition is to bring up pressing issues concerning the rakyat.
“There will be some skirmishes, problems between two parties and the other one tries to bring back peace. There have been problems between PAS and PKR.
“When we were preparing the shadow budget and manifesto, there were a lot of shouting, walk-outs and yet we managed to come together and present our budget and common policy framework,” he added.
“By making that stand, we have declared that it is very hard for us to work with Hadi now,” he said.