PAS, DAP gives thumbs up for merger go-ahead

PAS and DAP yesterday welcomed the resolution of the last obstacle to the impending merger of Keadilan and Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM).

A total of 640 out of 906 delegates at Keadilan's annual general meeting in Sungai Petani, Kedah on Sunday voted to change the party's constitution accordingly to accommodate the merger.

The merger had been stalled for more than a year following Keadilan's failure to agree to amending its constitution at last year's AGM.

Upon merging, which is reportedly set to happen next May, the resultant new party will be named Parti Keadilan Rakyat Malaysia, and governed by 60 supreme council members.

Speaking at the Parliament lobby yesterday, PAS vice president Dr Hassan Ali said the merger will enable the combined strength the two opposition parties.

"The merger will consolidate their ideas and help in achieving a larger aim. So it is a positive development for them," he said.

Met at the same venue, DAP secretary-general Kerk Kim Hock also echoed Hassan's view, saying, "It is a good step."

However, Kerk said he was unsure whether the influence of the two parties would be strengthened from the merger.

Pulling DAP back

Meanwhile, Hassan said he would always welcome DAP back into the Barisan Alternatif although the Chinese-based party left due to irreconcilable differences with PAS over the Islamic state last year.

"It would be good if they rejoined. Actually, I feel as if DAP never pulled out from BA. As you can see, we still have a very cordial cooperation and discussion in the Dewan Rakyat. I believe their decision to pull out is only due to temporary pressure," he said.

Nevertheless, DAP's Kerk later reiterated the party's stand that it would not consider any possibility of rejoining BA.

Hassan was responding to reporters' question on Keadilan president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's statement at the party's AGM.

Wan Azizah had said that Keadilan will try its best to bring DAP back to BA as part of the effort to consolidate the opposition force to face the ruling coalition in the next general election.

Party vice president Azmin Ali reportedly said at the same event that DAP had expressed interest to form an electoral pact with Keadilan, to the exclusion of PAS, to discuss the allocation of seats in the national polls.

However, Azmin stressed that Keadilan could not work with DAP alone as this would not be in the best interest of BA.