DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said Kedah DAP’s decision to withdraw from the Pakatan Rakat state government was not final and needed to be endorsed by the party’s national central executive committee first.
“Only after receiving the official letter confirming the Kedah state committee decision, would I call a CEC to make a final decision on the matter,” Guan Eng said in a statement on Thursday.
“I would normally oppose such moves personally especially when based on a single issue and if there is still room to redress and correct the situation.
“However, the desperate nature of the situation and the breakdown of trust between Kedah DAP and the Kedah PAS Menteri Besar warrants a CEC meeting to endorse or oppose this withdrawal.”
Guan Eng, who is also Penang chief minister, said Kedah DAP chairman Thomas Su had briefed on the situation before announcing the pullout. No date has been fixed yet for the DAP CEC meeting, he added.
The Pakatan, due to meet on Thursday over the formation of shadow cabinet committees, has postponed the meeting to help resolve the spat.
Denting the Pakatan’s image
On Wednesday, Kedah DAP shocked the nation with its decision to follow through on a threat to withdraw from the PAS-led state government.
This came about after Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak refused to intervene in the demolition of an abattoir despite pleas from Thomas. There have also been other issues the two men have not been able to see eye to eye on.
Guan Eng defended Kedah DAP, which has been slammed for being emotional and uncaring of the overall Pakatan agenda.
“Pulling out of Pakatan Rakyat is a serious matter with large adverse national ramifications. For Kedah DAP to do so from the Kedah state government signals the complete lack of communication and respect from the Kedah PAS-led government,” he said.
“Kedah DAP had never sought any titles or Datukships but had been unhappy with the lack of respect accorded by PAS to DAP in Kedah unlike the respect accorded to PAS in Penang.”
Said Kedah PKR Youth deputy chief Gooi Hsiao Leung: “It is well within any party’s right to protest, or oppose or even condemn the Alor Setar’s Municipal Council’s decision to tear down the abattoir, however the DAP Kedah must not be carried away emotionally by making calls to quit Pakatan over this issue.
“It had taken a lot, and in some ways, a miracle for the PAS, PKR and DAP to come together and forge a united front to face Barisan Nasional. The alliance is bound to face tribulations and disagreements, however it is our duty to minimize such problems and to ensure that the coalition remains united.”
Complacency and corruption
No one would rush to say either is right, but can anyone say neither is wrong. It does takes two to tango.
Therefore the finger must also be pointed at PAS. As the party controlling the largest number of seats in the Kedah state assembly, it must rightfully also be the one that displays the greater generosity of spirit and statesmanship.
In any case, there has been huge negative publicity created with far-reaching implications for the Pakatan partnership of PKR, DAP and PAS.
“Azizan has told me that he has given space and options on where the slaughter house can be built. I believe that we can discuss and solve this problem,” said Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, the Pakatan’s de-facto head.
“I was in Barisan for a long time and there were many disagreement but it did not make headlines.”
As pressure piles on Pakatan to tighten its management, the coalition must also take care not to lose sight of its original aim – which is to create a better Malaysia.
This Malaysia must be a Malaysia that Malaysians want, not what the Umno-BN press wants or even what the Pakatan itself wants.
If the Pakatan continues to understand what the people want, then it doesn’t matter if they quarrel everyday.
After all, despite the non-stop politicking and sabotage from the Umno-BN, both Penang and Selangor have hauled in record investments in the past year.
As long as the work gets done – and again this is for the people to decide, not the Umno-BN press – what is wrong with being noisy?
It may be annoying but it is also one sure way to keep corruption and complacency at bay. With whistle-blowers and trigger-happy mouths all around, who would dare.