PKR: We never betrayed PAS

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GEORGE TOWN: PKR has denied that it has been unfaithful to its tahaluf siyasi (agreement on political cooperation) with PAS, as alleged by the Islamist party.

In a media statement released late yesterday, PKR president Wan Azizah Ismail said her party had stayed true to its pact with other opposition parties and had never once betrayed PAS.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution made a similar denial and said the party’s leaders would meet “immediately” to decide on the stand it would take in the face of a decision by PAS to end its relationship with it.

PAS formally announced the cutting of ties yesterday, saying its policymaking body, the Syura Council, had endorsed a decision reached at the recent PAS convention to end almost two decades of cooperation with the multiracial party.

According to the announcement, the council said PKR had breached the terms of its political cooperation with PAS.

Wan Azizah said PKR had, in principle, supported PAS’ effort to strengthen the shariah courts and was committed to the opposition’s goal of wresting Putrajaya from Barisan Nasional.

She also said the Selangor government would carry on business as usual despite the split.

The Selangor legislature has 14 DAP, 13 PKR, 13 PAS, 11 Umno, two Amanah and two independent representatives. The Sungai Ayer Tawar assembly seat is vacant following the death of the BN representative.

This means the Pakatan Harapan state government will control a total of 29 seats in the 56-member legislature, now that it has lost PAS’ support.

Saifuddin said he was disappointed with PAS’ decision and offended by the Islamist party’s accusations against PKR. The allegation that PKR was against PAS’ Islamic agenda was false, he added.

“We would like to categorically deny the accusations made by the PAS Syura Council that we are against the Islamic agenda, that we dishonoured the ethos of political cooperation and that we were treacherous in our political relationship with PAS,” he said.

“The record shows that we have remained a multiracial party that is committed to pursuing the people’s cause and exposing and eliminating corruption and misgovernance and that we have been steadfast in fostering and maintaining close cooperation and solidarity with our allies.”