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PUBLISHED: Oct 13, 2015 9:00am

PSM willing to participate in Pakatan Harapan, says its former secretary-general

S.-Arutchelvan-L

A AZIM IDRIS By:
A Azim Idris

PSM former secretary-general S. Arutchelvan says the party is willing to attend a meeting with PKR if it is invited to do so. — TRP file pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13, 2015:

Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM) is open to talks on joining the newly-formed Pakatan Harapan following PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali’s recent announcement on the matter.

Its former secretary-general, S. Arutchelvan said the party was willing to attend a meeting with PKR if they were invited to do so.

“Basically, we have to find out what is in the coalition and after that, PSM will have to decide whether or not it should join Pakatan Harapan,”

“We have not set any pre-conditions and will see what is on offer,” he said when contacted recently.

After the PKR Supreme Council meeting on Sunday, Mohamed Azmin was reported to have said that the party was advocating like-minded parties such as PAS and PSM, along with other parties in Sabah and Sarawak, to join Pakatan Harapan.

Mohamed Azmin said this after PKR passed a resolution to open membership into the pact to strengthen the Opposition.

However, Arutchelvan said PKR must work on fundamental issues if it wanted to form a serious coalition.

“It has to resolve issues such as (the implementation) of hudud and local elections, among others.

“If it is interested (to from a stronger coalition), it must work towards a common goal,

“The other option, apart from asking us (PSM) to join Pakatan Harapan, is to have election cooperation to ensure there are no multi-cornered fights in the next election,” Arutchelvan said.

Menawhile, political analyst Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Associate Professor Dr Samsul Adabi Mamat said Azmin’s latest announcement showed that PKR was making an effort to consolidate the Opposition.

“Informally, they are using the Barisan Nasional formula of reaching a ‘permuafakatan’ (consensus) among member parties.

“The only difference is that Pakatan Harapan is not using the same logo as the parties would most likely be contesting with respective party logos.

“This is also a way for PKR to fish other parties to join the coalition after losing PAS, a big asset to the Opposition, from the previous Pakatan Rakyat,” he said when contacted.

However, Samsul said the announcement was akin to the political situation in Selangor, where PAS was still cooperating with PKR in the state government, although there was friction with DAP.

PSM was initially left out of a round-table discussion last month which saw the announcement of a new Opposition coalition in lieu of Pakatan Rakyat, which was declared defunct after PAS decided to cut ties with DAP following a long-standing spat with the secular party.

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