Current Affairs

Solve issue of local government polls at Pakatan top leadership: DAP

zairil khir johari

The spat between DAP and PAS over the issue of local government polls should be resolved in a meeting with the Pakatan Rakyat top leadership, and not over the public sphere, a DAP leader has said.

DAP assistant publicity secretary Zairil Khir Johari in a statement today said the disagreement should be debated behind closed doors, and urged PAS secretary general Mustafar Ali to stop challenging his counterpart in DAP, Lim Guan Eng, to a ‘public debate’.

“Even if (Datuk) Mustafa does not agree with Guan Eng, he should resolve this discourse in the Pakatan Rakyat leadership council meeting. It is also best if he could coax PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang to attend the meeting to come to a solution to this problem,” he said.

Zairil was responding to Mustafa’s open challenge to Guan Eng to debate the matter of local council elections.

Mustafa on Jan 28 said Guan Eng had been dishonest about the Islamist party’s decision not to back the polls.

“As the hudud issue has dragged on for some time and now there’s the issue of local council polls, I suggest that Lim Guan Eng and I hold an open debate. This is so that each can give the true perspective on the issue and allow people to judge who is being honest and who is not,” Mustafa was quoted in a report by The Malaysian Insider.

However, Zairil said if Mustafa were truly unhappy over Guan Eng’s alleged deception, he should simply take legal action against the latter.

“Whatever PAS and Datuk Mustafa decides to do, let this be solved internally or in court, rather than openly accusing and challenging one another,” Zairil said.

He added that in previous discussions between Hadi, Mustafa and Guan Eng, the proposal for local council elections were not met with objections from the two PAS leaders.

PAS’s opposition towards the proposal to bring back local council elections, particularly in Penang, had been seen as a sign of growing rift between the two parties.

Hadi also shocked other leaders when he raised the ghost of the May 13 racial riots to justify his party’s objection to the elections. He said the polls could cause deeper racial divide and racial tension, especially in Chinese-majority areas, since the polls would be advantageous to urban residents only, whom he claimed were mainly non-Malays.


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