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COMMENT Though Charles de Gaulle in a famous formulation noted that friendships are transient but interests are permanent, the maxim is taken to refer to the world of big power politics.

The realpolitik that governs relations between big powers should not be equated to the politics of parties operating within national boundaries.

In the latter arena, if interests predominate over principles, as in realpolitik, political parties get into twists that would reduce them to ciphers rather than contenders for power within national settings.

Wth the announcement yesterday that PAS is teaming up with Malay rights pressure group, Perkasa, on matters of mutual interest, the insistence of PKR - against the better judgment of their more reliable allies - to continue wooing PAS to sign on to a combined opposition pact becomes even more difficult to bring off...

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