SIDESTEPPING BOSSY KIT SIANG & CO? GRAND COALITION ‘BARISAN RAKYAT’ NEEDED SO DR M’S BERSATU, SHAFIE’S WARISAN CAN JOIN AS ‘EQUALS’ – SAIFUDDIN ABDULLAH

KUALA LUMPUR – Opposition parties need to form a new coalition as joining Pakatan Harapan will create the impression that the latter is controlling newer parties, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said.

The Pakatan Harapan chief secretary said that asking Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and Parti Warisan Sabah to be a part of Pakatan Harapan might give the wrong impression that the federal Opposition pact was trying to exert dominance over the newer parties.

“We want to form an Opposition coalition of equals…asking PPBM and Warisan to join Pakatan Harapan would make Pakatan Harapan be seen as dominating,” Saifuddin told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

He was responding to PPBM’s suggestion that Opposition parties band together under the name “Barisan Rakyat” (People’s Front), and that they use a single symbol and manifesto, as well as avoid fielding multiple candidates for the 14th general election.

“A bigger and stronger Opposition coalition is needed. We are open to its final shape and form. Hence, it does not have to be only or limited to being a component of Pakatan Harapan.

“We have formed a Technical Committee to discuss these matters. We are looking at all angles and possibilities. There are several suggestions on the table, including those mentioned at the launch of PPBM last night,” Saifuddin explained, referring to PPBM’s launch on Saturday night.

He said that it was “too early” to announce a finalised decision on the matter for now.

PPBM had, last month, already inked an agreement with the existing Opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan — composed of PKR, DAP and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) — to formalise their cooperation for GE14.

PAS has yet to agree to work with PKR and PPBM and is still in talks with them, but had last March together with Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia formed the new Opposition alliance Gagasan Sejahtera — which is seen as a “third force” — now joined also by Berjasa.

PAS has said it is willing to have one-to-one fights in the elections that must be held by 2018, but its refusal to work with DAP or Amanah has raised concerns on whether it would clash with them and the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) in certain seats.

– Malay Mail

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