Anwar admits endorsing PKR-PAS talks

(The Star) – PKR defacto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has admitted endorsing talks between the party and PAS and does not oppose holding a special congress on the matter which has caused rifts in the leadership.

He, however, questioned the necessity of holding a special congress that would not bring fundamental changes so near to the general election.

“Understanding the spirit of democracy in Keadilan, I do not oppose holding a special congress (to discuss the continuation of talks with PAS),” Anwar said in a statement on Saturday.

“I have been reviewing the statements by Rafizi Ramli, the vice-president, and members who have expressed anxiety because the suggestion to cooperate with PAS has been vague and prolonged without conclusion,” he said.

Anwar explained that the decision to cooperate with PAS was to consolidate all forces to defeat Umno-BN in the upcoming general election.

“What had been proposed and agreed by the political bureau before was not to make PAS an enemy, but to study the possibility of preventing three-cornered fights,” he said.

Anwar said the initiative to cooperate with PAS was a nationwide strategy.

“Selangor MB Azmin Ali who was asked to oversee this initiative realises that it is recommended as a national strategy and not just limited to Selangor,” he said.

Anwar said the cooperation will remain within the framework of PKR’s commitment to Pakatan Harapan.

Rafizi had suggested that the special congress be held to get a mandate from the grassroots if the party should continue talking to the Islamist party ahead of the polls.

The suggestion was slammed by several PKR leaders, including Youth deputy head Dr Afif Bahardin.

The party’s Selayang MP William Leong also resigned from the political bureau as he was upset at PKR’s unending efforts to court PAS.