The Malay Mail Online 9 June 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will require a miracle to keep the pact intact now that PAS has decided to formally end ties with ally DAP, according to a political observer.

While saying that a disintegration of the pact was not inevitable, International Islamic University professor Dr Maszlee Malik said it should have cemented “common agreed policies” rather than letting fundamental ideological differences remain.

A return to the pact’s oft-vaunted “Common Policy Framework” may still be enough to see the three parties overcome the public row over hudud.

“However at the moment, I don’t believe it could be saved. They do need a miracle or a black swan for that,” the political analyst told Malay Mail Online when contacted, after PAS approved a motion in its yearly meet to cut ties with ally DAP and remain in PR.

But even if it does not break up, Maszlee said hostilities have been exchanged too harshly and often for PR to remain viable, and that the aggrieved parties would require “extraordinary generosity” to look past the frequent slights.

One thing that may prevent a complete breakdown in relationships was the self interest of the parties in retaining the positions they now hold in state administrations, despite all the posturing.

“I don’t think many of the PAS leaders who have their interest in Selangor are ready to give them away like what Mat Sabu did with all his positions in Penang,” he said

In an acidic farewell speech at the Muktamar, former PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu announced he will resign from all his Penang state agency positions, and challenged all other PAS lawmakers in Penang and Selangor to follow suit.

Maszlee pointed out that PAS leaders would find their positions as state exco members, councillors, and government-linked companies’ directorships “too precious” to give up in the absence of them securing a better deal with Umno.

Illustrating Maszlee’s point was a call by the PAS Ulama wing yesterday for the party’s lawmakers not to resign from government posts, arguing that the Islamist party was only splitting with DAP and not PR.

Despite PAS’s unorthodox move to sever ties with DAP while remaining in PR — an escalation of DAP’s March decision to ostracise PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang while keeping the Islamist party as an ally — Wan Saiful Wan Jan said the arrangement was workable.

“I quite like the idea because it means coalitions can be formed at different levels based on different relationship at the present level,” the chief executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs told Malay Mail Online.

But he conceded that the tenuous relationship meant the arrangement was susceptible to unravelling if the three partners continue their “childish” behaviour.

Hostilities between PAS and DAP over hudud have escalated from the cautious rebukes in the early days to open threats and insults after ties appeared irretrievably damaged.

“All it takes for Pakatan Rakyat to break it up is for them to behave like what they are behaving now. So the question is how much do they want to stay together,” he said.

PR could undo its current predicament if the three parties were willing to compromise with each other, he said, instead of the current insistence of each demanding to have things its own way.

This would include PAS central committee members reviewing the decision to break away from DAP, and also DAP to agree to working with Hadi again, he said.

PAS on Saturday confirmed its decision to sever ties with DAP while still remaining in PR with PKR, after its motion to do so was approved without debate.

The development drove DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang to declare PR dead and awaiting “funeral rites”.

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