With Anwar in jail, Kit Siang moots eight-year unity pledge to prevent Pakatan break-up


(Malay Mail Online) – Lim Kit Siang urged all Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners today to close ranks and commit to an eight-year promise that each member will stand firm by the pact’s two founding principles: its common policy framework and practice of consensus.

The veteran DAP politician said committing to these principles would be the only way for the seven-year coalition to survive and function as a united front.

Lim stressed that DAP, PKR and PAS must put aside their differences for at least the next eight years — three years until the 14th general election and a further five years until the next federal polls — and use this formula to ensure that PR is prepared for a serious bid to topple the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

“PR can only sustain and succeed if we adhere to the two fundamental principles which had been the secrets of the PR success in its first six years — strict adherence to the PR Common Policy Framework which had formed the bedrock common principles of the three component parties in the coalition, and the operational principle of consensus regarding the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council as the highest policy-making body for PR,” he said in a statement here.

Lim pointed out that Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, currently 67-years-old and serving a five-year prison sentence for sodomy, would only be able to officially stand for public office after his five-year disqualification period ends — which takes effect only after he is released from prison.

Anwar will be 77-years-old by then, Lim said.

“This is cruel, heartless, repressive and oppressive, and only (the) people’s power can cut short Anwar’s present travail if the Umno/BN federal government can be toppled in the 14th General Elections in three years’ time.

“The greatest tribute we can give to Anwar’s struggle and sacrifices in his 47 years of upholding justice, freedom, human dignity and national unity is for Pakatan Rakyat to be more united and successful than in the past,” the Gelang Patah MP said, adding that PR cannot deny that the coalition is being “afflicted” with its greatest crisis since its formation in 2008.

The Federal Court on Tuesday upheld the Court of Appeal’s 2014 ruling that had reversed Anwar’s acquittal of sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, also sentencing him to five years’ jail.

Anwar will now lose his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat as the law bars anyone fined over RM2,000 or imprisoned more than one year from serving as a lawmaker.