13 May 2008

PKR talking to PAS on dropping stance: Karpal

DAP chairman Karpal Singh has disclosed that Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is trying to talk PAS into giving up its Islamic state ideology.

He said the Islamic state ideology as espoused by PAS is a big obstacle to cooperation among the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) component parties. He did not discount the possibility that the Islamic state issue may prompt DAP to again leave the opposition alliance.

Karpal, who is the Bukit Gelugor MP, told Nanyang Siang Pau in an interview the Federal Constitution clearly says Malaysia is a secular state.
Former prime ministers Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn had also stated that Malaysia is a secular state, he said.

He said PAS has stated that "should the party come to power (at the federal level), it would declare Malaysia an Islamic state".

"Based on this point, PAS accepts the fact that Malaysia, at present, is not an Islamic state," he said.

"PAS needs to obtain two-thirds majority in the parliament as well as amend the constitution in order to fulfill its Islamic state ideology."

Karpal Singh said PR is a good front with potential to obtain even better results in the next general election.

As such, PAS should stop making remarks on Islamic state.

He also said PAS cannot regard itself as the backbone of PR as it has only 23 parliamentary seats, whereas PKR and DAP have 31 and 28, respectively.
"PR is at its infancy stage and there is lot more work to do, such as fighting for the abolition of the Internal Security Act and other draconian laws," he said.

"As such, PAS should put more efforts in these areas and be mindful of their remarks to avoid giving the public the impression that PR is in a mess."

Karpal Singh also said DAP does not accept the party-hopping culture, adding that PR should not use party-hopping to strengthen itself but wait for another four years to show its strength.

He said party-hopping is a betrayal of the voters' trust and if PR accepts party-hoppers, one day it will also be betrayed.

Anwar has said PR will get enough MPs to cross over from BN to form the next federal government by Sept 16 (Malaysia Day) or earlier.

Karpal Singh said he personally does not agree with any move by PR to form the federal government with the help of party-hoppers.

"A political party must have integrity, otherwise it will lose the people's trust," he said.

Source SUN Online

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