|MALAYSIA’S three main opposition parties are considering a formal alliance after their strongest showing in 50 years in the March 8 general election, said former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.Datuk Seri Anwar said the parties have held initial discussions about signing an agreement and creating a shadow Cabinet.
‘We need a more cohesive working relationship,’ he told reporters yesterday in Petaling Jaya, outside Kuala Lumpur.
A united opposition would be a ‘government in waiting’, he said.
But Datuk Seri Anwar, who has ruled out returning to the ruling coalition, declined to say whether he wanted to be prime minister or even be known as the alliance’s official leader.
‘I don’t like to be called an opposition leader,’ he said. ‘Alternative government. That sounds more political.’
He also refused to say when he might stand for Parliament through a by-election in one of the constituencies his party holds.
He is not eligible to run in an election until mid-April because of a corruption conviction on charges he denies.
‘I’m eager to be back in Parliament,’ he said. ‘I will attend the first session from the public gallery.’
Datuk Seri Anwar also told reporters that some political parties have tried to lobby him to join them.
‘Yes, there are parties asking, their people came and lobbied me to join them. I met them with an open manner. I am willing to exchange opinions with them. But I never think of joining other parties, Umno or Barisan Nasional forever and ever,’ he said.
His Parti Keadilan Rakyat, the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party and Parti Islam SeMalaysia will share power in four new state governments.
The former deputy premier, in a separate statement yesterday, warned the government not to sabotage the transition of power in the opposition-ruled states, saying it would undermine the stock market and the currency.
‘We are waiting for more details from Anwar before we respond. We are keeping an open mind.’ MR LIM KIT SIANG, Democratic Action Party leader, when asked if his party could work with PAS in a formal alliance
IN THE WORKS
‘We are in the process of speeding up the formality in forming the Barisan Alternatif.”
DATUK HUSAM MUSA, PAS vice-president, referring to the coalition of DAP, PAS, PKR and PRM (Parti Rakyat Malaysia) formed for the 1999 election which broke up by the time of the 2004 polls
BLOOMBERG, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, SIN CHEW DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK