Loke: No permanent enemies in politics, but DAP won't work with present-day PAS

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke today said that there is no chance his party will ever work with Islamist party PAS if it stays as it is now with a disregard for Malaysia's reality as a multi-ethnic country.

He said that while working with political opponents is nothing new for DAP — which has in the past formed Pakatan Rakyat along with PAS — its principle is that whoever forms the federal government must always uphold the plural identity of Malaysia.

"The current PAS at its current form, the answer is a definite no," he said during a roundtable session held by electoral watchdog Bersih titled "Deepening Democracy in Malaysia: Making Coalition Government and Hung Parliament Work."

“If you look at their statements, you look at the speeches, and the views propagated by the president, they totally disregard Malaysia as a multiracial country. That is a big ‘no’, as far as we are concerned,” Loke said.

He added that the current unity government was the best course for the country, despite the differences among the allied parties, as most share the common principle of multiracialism.

Commenting on the party’s efforts to persuade supporters to back former rivals that were now allies through the unity government, the Seremban MP said the most effective way would the performance of federal administration.

“If this government can work and function well, develop the country, make reforms, everyone can see a better country, better governance in place, a functioning democracy, the economy is doing well, that is the best answer to convince our members.”

PAS had teamed up with DAP for a second time in 2008 as part of PR, but was effectively expelled in 2015 when the latter declared the coalition “dead” due to irreconcilable differences with the Islamists.

After DAP and PKR went on to form Pakatan Harapan, PAS began its campaign of vilifying the former ally as being communist, against the Malays, and anti-Islam.