DAP’s Ramkarpal Singh has hit back at former Premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, pointing out that it is absolutely incorrect to say that the entire Opposition is incapable of working together.
“It is not entirely true that Opposition parties only think for themselves.
“I think it must be remembered that PAS is no longer in Pakatan Harapan. So, we are no longer talking to PAS. I think he (Mahathir) was referring to PAS,” he told FMT when contacted.
He added that since PAS was not in the Opposition pact, other parties such as PKR, DAP and Amanah have been working closely together in their states, such as in Penang and Selangor.
The Bukit Gelugor MP was responding to earlier remarks by Mahathir, who admitted it would be difficult to overthrow BN because Opposition parties don’t think of how to unite as one.
Ramkarpal said it would be an uphill battle to reunite PAS with Pakatan Harapan, due to the differing agendas and ideologies.
“PAS obviously has its own agenda which cannot be reconciled with other parties in Pakatan.
“It (PAS) has made it clear that it wants hudud and that it is no longer able to work with Pakatan Harapan.”
Political analyst Sivamurugan Pandian said it was vital for DAP and PAS to find a common ground.
“DAP and PAS cannot find a common ground and that’s why they cannot settle their unresolved ideology issues.
“That is more important than just to overthrow the current government.”
Meanwhile, Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari echoed similar sentiments, pointing out that it was untrue that parties in Pakatan Harapan were unable to work together.
“Obviously, that’s not true because in the 2008 and 2013 general elections, we cooperated very well,” he told FMT on WhatsApp when contacted.
However, the DAP lawmaker conceded that a united front by Opposition parties was mandatory to face off with BN in the upcoming general election.
“I don’t disagree with the premise that if we don’t work together and cooperate, BN will win easily. This has been the case from independence until 1990, when BN won huge majorities.
“From 1990 onwards, greater electoral cooperation saw the Opposition make gains.”
At the same time, Pakatan Harapan Chief Secretary Saifuddin Abdullah said efforts by the three parties (PKR, DAP and Amanah) to form a bigger and stronger coalition had been consistent.
“From day one, we have said that we need to ensure Opposition parties face BN in one-on-one contests in the 14th General Election.”
Earlier today, Amanah’s Strategic Communications Director Khalid Samad also slammed PAS, saying that one-on-one fights in the upcoming general election won’t happen if PAS doesn’t perceive BN as an enemy.
Amanah’s Secretary-General Anuar Tahir also echoed similar sentiments, saying PAS’ arrogance in not having negotiations with the Opposition pact was hampering efforts in having straight fights for seats in the coming polls.
Blake Chen and Tarrence Tan