Pakatan Rakyat ‘will not crumble’

(The Malaysian Insider) – Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng expressed confidence yesterday that the three-party Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance will not break up despite the pressures of “growing under a magnifying glass” of its political enemies.

He said that even if opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, the glue of the disparate opposition alliance, is somehow removed from the political scene, PR is unlikely to come apart.

“Nothing can be further from the truth than to say that the political obituary of Pakatan Rakyat can be written,” he said.

Lim was speaking to journalists from Singapore Press Holdings, at its auditorium, on the topic Winds Of Political Change In Malaysia: Can The Opposition Alliance Hold? He spoke on a wide range of topics in the two-hour session that included questions from the floor.

PR won the state assemblies of five of Malaysia’s 13 states in last year’s general elections, the best-ever showing by the opposition parties. The alliance comprises the multiracial Parti Keadilan Rakyat, the Chinese-based DAP, and PAS.

Several questions from the floor were about the state of the opposition alliance after a series of intra-party and inter-party disputes in recent months.

Lim, DAP’s secretary-general, said that differences in opinions were normal in any political organisation and did not portend a break-up as predicted by leaders of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN).

He was also asked whether PAS will stay loyal as some of its top leaders seem keen to get close to Umno. Lim predicted that a firm move by this group towards ethnic-based politics would cause a break-up of PAS because a “significant” number of its other leaders and members want to stay with PR.