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Refreshing show of unity between Pakatan leaders - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

Pakatan Rakyat Parliament and state reps are expected to hold frequent meetings, possibly on a weekly basis, to discuss current events and intra-coalition affairs.

The maiden meeting, dubbed by some as a retreat, was held on Tuesday night at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, involving some 60 members of parliament from across the country and 10 state assemblypersons who are mainly from Selangor.

The meeting was the latest step by the yet-to-be registered coalition of three parties - PKR, PAS and DAP - to chart their direction, amidst talk that the coalition had gone wayward after failing to topple the federal government by Sept 16.

In comparison, the Umno supreme council is scheduled to only meet once a month while the Barisan Nasional supreme council usually meets every six months. Additional meetings are held when necessary.

september 16 political party jumpChecks with several Pakatan elected reps revealed that there were no discussions on the coalition's plans to topple the BN-led federal government through defections.

One MP who spoke on condition of anonymity said Tuesday's meeting was preceded by a two-hour long dinner which was the first major informal gathering of Pakatan elected reps.

"The dinner was a good opportunity for us to get to know each other better, while the meeting proper lasted only two-hours," said the MP.

A state assemblyperson told Malaysiakini that the meeting mainly touched on Parliamentary caucuses and other Parliament-related matters.

"It was more on co-ordination between the Pakatan MPs. The MPs benefited more from the meeting," said the state assemblyperson.

Survey briefing

The state assemblyperson also said that the meeting touched on administrative matters concerning the coalition.

anwar and parliamentAmong those who spoke during the meeting were PKR de facto leader and Parliament Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

The participants at the meeting were also briefed on a survey by an opinion research firm on current affairs and public perception of political parties.

Asked for a summary of the survey, the state assemblyperson replied, "Barisan Nasional is suffering".

"There are a lot of racial issues going on such as the PKNS and multi-lingual signboard issues. However the survey shows that the Malays are more concerned about economic issues," he added.

The source also said the results of the survey showed that Pakatan had to work hard in order to convince the Malay electorate that it is a viable alternative to Barisan.

The next meeting will be held on Nov 25. Tentatively, the focus of the next meeting will be on the Pakatan-led state governments -