PAS, Pakatan have work cut out

We are quite satisfied with what we have achieved in Kelantan. PAS has ruled for 20 years and we have not had a single corruption charge. In Selangor, given the on-ground realities, we have done well. We have hiccups, but there is ongoing communication. 

By Beh Kay Hieng, Free Malaysia Today

Stepping into 2010, the challenges for PAS as a party and Pakatan Rakyat as a coalition (of PAS, DAP, PKR) are clear cut.

Both, essentially, must convince the people of their capability, sincerity and commitment to continuity, with or without the leadership of  Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, whose future will be decided next month by the Malaysian courts.

“The Common Policy Platform (CPP) was our proudest moment, the biggest achievement to date. It made us sit down to discuss the agenda as friends with a common intention,” said PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub in reference to PR’s common agenda for the three parties to push forward for a new Malaysia in their bid to end Barisan Nasional’s hold on Putrajaya.

“The 2010 priority will be to strengthen this coalition,” Salahuddin told FMT.

At any other point in history this would not have been possible, he said.  But the 2008 political tsunami, the capture of five states and the subsequent  constitutional crisis, judicial mayhem and the endless sneaky plots to topple the coalition had lent to an unlikely liaison an added value called “working together,” he added.

“People must realise that as a coalition, we are still infants in this game. We are yet to reach two years. Umno-BN has been around for 50 years. I am not giving excuses, just saying that we are learning,  and rapidly too.”
He claimed there was wide public acceptance and appreciation of PR administrations in Kelantan, Kedah, Selangor and Penang.

Rhetoric aside,  the most daunting task for the coalition partners is explaining to the rakyat  their stand on the issues of  Islam, local council elections, the performance of PR states and the court cases against Anwar. FMT put these questions to Salahuddin and PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali.