Politics

Pas-Ikatan opposition pact will engage the government

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR, March 16, 2016: After a year of being solo, Pas today announced that it was forming a new alliance with Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (Ikatan).

The coalition, which is a second opposition bloc after Pakatan Harapan, has however yet to be named.

Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang told a press conference after inking the agreement with Ikatan at the party headquarters here that the new coalition will “behave differently” from Pakatan Harapan, which consists DAP, PKR and Amanah.

He said Pas and Ikatan will not “simply oppose the government for the sake of opposing”.

“We do not want to be too extreme in our role as the opposition.

“The way forward is through constructive and responsible politics and at the same time rejecting the culture of opportunism, political harshness and narrow racialism,”  he said.

Hadi also expressed hope that the new coalition will bring about a more mature political model that is “transparent, responsible and clean” to the country.

Ikatan president Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Syeikh Fadzir, who was also at the press conference said Ikatan decided to form a pact with Pas instead of other opposition parties mainly because of “Pas’ mature political approach”.

“We want to work with Pas because, I personally know that Pas is not an extremist party,” said the former minister and Umno supreme council member.

Similar to Pas, Kadir said Ikatan was not established “for the sake of blindly opposing the government”.

“Our time is too valuable. Instead of shouting at the government, we will form a secretariat to engage the government,” he said.

Kadir, who is the founding president of the three-year-old multiracial Ikatan , said the newly formed coalition will not opt for a populist approach.

“We will not hinge on short-term populist approach just for the sake of winning elections.

“We are an issue-based party,” he said, “If the government’s policy is good for the people then we will laud it and if it’s not, we will oppose it by advising the government to rectify it,” he said.

“We also hoped that we will be able to solve a great deal of the people’s problems by the next general election, especially income disparity between those from the rural and urban areas,” said Kadir.

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Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.