DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang has dismissed suggestions that his olive branch to PAS was an act of hypocrisy.
Lim said the priority for Malaysia now is to deal with the problem of kleptocracy.
“Hypocrite or not, let the people decide. We can have differences in opinions, but the biggest issue now is whether we can free ourselves from kleptocracy.
“Saving Malaysia from kleptocracy is paramount and everybody should stand united in this issue, regardless of race and religion,” Lim told a press conference in Penang today.
Yesterday, Lim expressed his personal opinion that he was willing to work with PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, if Hadi shared the same commitment to combat kleptocracy.
He said this would likely be the national agenda over the next five to 10 years, and questioned if Hadi was willing to make such a commitment.
This, Lim clarified today, was just his personal view, and that it had yet to be discussed by DAP’s central committee.
In 2014, the PAS muktamar, the party’s highest decision making body, unanimously agreed to break ties with DAP, after the DAP accused the Islamic party of pursuing theocratic goals, which went against their working agreement within the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
Following this, the new Pakatan Harapan coalition was formed by DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), which is a PAS splinter group. Harapan has formalised working relations with another Umno splinter group, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
Act 355 not the most pressing issue
Meanwhile, DAP vice-chairperson Ariffin SM Omar said Malaysia faces economic issues, unemployment and budget cuts, which were more pressing than PAS’ efforts to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, or Act 355.
Ariffin said PAS-ruled Kelantan should prioritise the annual flood problems the state faces, instead of Act 355.
“Corruption is pervasive in the country, but what has been done about it?
“Yes, the civil servants may be shivering as some are being probed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, but while they are shivering at night, they are also wondering, why has there been no action against top officials?” Ariffin said.
He said PAS currently seemed to enjoy cordial ties with Umno, but this would well be at the country’s expense.
“How can you reconcile with Umno in exchange for supporting (amendments to) Act 355, and at the same time work with a kleptocratic government?” Arrifin asked.