KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 ― The crisis in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) continued today as the Penang government, taking a completely opposite position from its Selangor counterparts, announced that it no longer considers itself a “PR government”.
Instead, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state leadership, with the consensus of all 30 DAP, PKR and PAS assemblymen, has decided that its administration should be referred to as just the “Penang state government”.
In a statement here, Lim said a meeting with all state executive councillors yesterday unanimously agreed to three resolutions - to oppose PAS's severing of ties with the DAP during its muktamar last month; to accept that the muktamar decision effectively ended PR’s existence; and to continue governing Penang in accordance with the now-defunct pact's 2009 Common Policy Framework.
“Therefore, the exco (state executive council) also decided that it is now referred to as the Penang state government, and is no longer the Penang PR state government,” the DAP secretary-general said in a statement here.
To borrow a term from Australian PM Tony Abbot's description of his Liberal Party's PM predecessor's unpopular policy against the labour force, "dead, buried and cremated", Pakatan can be said to be just that.
Effectively, Lim's declaration has been a symbolic discarding of the term 'Pakatan' in the State of Penang, but nonetheless an apocalyptic signal of the total demise of the previous Pakatan coalition of PKR, PAS and DAP.
But by his public declaration, though couched in euphemistic political gobbledy gook, Lim GE has actually thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Azmin Ali to follow his example.
I suspect Lim GE and the DAP aren't happy with Azmin Ali's sitting on the fence in Selangor vis-a-vis PKR's relationship with PAS and DAP. Lim GE might be upping the ante against Azmin Ali to 'persuade' Azmin to split with PAS.
Personally, much as I don't like and don't trust Azmin Ali, I can understand why he has no choice but to turn into Janus the two-headed god, showing PAS one face and DAP the other.
He just wants to hang on to his MB job. By not knocking down the house of cards that was Pakatan he believes he might be able to hang on until the time is right for his move.
Incidentally, Janus is the ancient Roman god of beginnings and transitions, and has two faces, one looking to the future and the other to the past. Janus has been said to preside over the beginning and ending of conflict.
Hasn't it been appropriate a name for Azmin, considering his party’s Kajang Satay marked the beginning of the disintegration of Pakatan (but to his personal political benefit), and should now also mark the end of Pakatan's existence as a coalition. But Azmin skips away from this a la manmanlai, wakakaka.
OK then, will DAP in Selangor make the next move, that is, to pull out of the state government? After all, it doesn't have much to lose as it only holds 3 exco positions and a meaningless & virtually powerless YDP DUN.
If Azmin and PKR hang on with PAS in Selangor, the bloc will have PKR's 13 + PAS' 15 giving it 28 ADUN to continue as a state government in a 'hung parliament'.
The downside for Azmin and PKR will be the wrong perception they will be sending to their traditional supporters in Selangor that PKR values PAS more than DAP.
Maybe that's what Lim and the DAP want Azmin to realize, that there's more to lose than to gain by hanging around with PAS!