Sunday, February 8, 2009

And the cracks widen in Pakatan Rakyat

Cracks appeared again in the Pakatan Rakyat with DAP chairman Karpal Singh calling on Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to step down as head of the alliance.

Blaming Anwar, also PKR advisor and de facto leader, for creating trouble in the opposition alliance, he said Pakatan needed a new leader.

"He (Anwar) has created enough trouble and it is time for him to bertaubat (repent).

"It's time Pakatan got itself another leader," he told a press conference at his office in Penang on Sunday.

Karpal Singh said members of PKR and DAP had fallen sway to the rhetoric of Anwar, who had supported the cross-over of elected representatives.

Anwar is widely credited with knitting the different parties in Pakatan -- PKR, DAP and PAS -- into the coherent opposition that swept five states from under Barisan Nasional's feet in the 12th general election last March.

Barisan was also denied a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

However, he spent much of his efforts after that attempting to engineer a massive defection of 31 Members of Parliament (MPs) from Barisan to the opposition, promising a Federal Government takeover by Sept 16 last year.

When that mass defection did not take place, he asked his supporters to be patient, saying it would come.

In the meantime, Anwar had become an MP after his wife and PKR president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail her seat in Permatang Pauh. This paved the way for the former deputy prime minister's return to parliament after his triumph in the ensuing by-election.

He then became the official Opposition leader.

On Jan 22, Anwar trumpeted the defection of Bota state assemblyman Datuk Nasarudin Hashim who quit Umno to join PKR. Less than 10 days later, Nasarudin jumped ship again to rejoin Umno.

This led to Barisan and Pakatan both holding 28 seats each in the state legislative assembly.

This "double hop," plus the resignations of DAP assemblyman Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang), and PKR assemblymen Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang), led to Barisan declaring it had the majority.

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