Pakatan Rakyat, (PR) (English: People’s Pact; Chinese: 人民联盟) was established on April 1, 2008. The political coalition comprises of a group of Malaysian opposition political parties, namely (DAP, PKR and PAS), which worked together as the Barisan Rakyat (or People’s Front) during the 12th Malaysian general election in 2008.
Pakatan Rakyat is to be led collectively by all three parties and pledged to uphold the rights and interests of all Malaysians. With the establishment of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, state governments of Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor are known as the Pakatan Rakyat state governments.
The Pakatan Rakyat is a development of the concept of Barisan Rakyat (English: People’s Front) that was created during the election campaign of the 12th Malaysian general election in 2008. Barisan Rakyat was the banner and policy position document which a group of Malaysian opposition political parties (DAP, PKR, PAS, PSM, MDP and PASOK) endorsed and coalesced around for the 12th Malaysian general election in 2008.
The concept was conceived by Malaysian human-rights lawyer and blogger Haris Ibrahim, and is based on a pledge to uphold egalitarian, transparent and responsible governance in service of the people (or rakyat).
The unprecedented electoral successes of these opposition parties in the 12th Malaysian general election, held on 8 March 2008, led to their forming state governments in five out of the 13 Malaysian states, and occupying 37% (82 out of 222) of the seats in the federal parliament. In view of this, the leaders of PKR, DAP and PAS decided to solidify and streamline the alliance by jointly announcing on 1 April 2008 the new banner, Pakatan Rakyat, under which these parties are to cooperate and govern based on a common set of policy positions and principles. It was also announced that the Leadership Council of the Pakatan Rakyat will consist of the leaders of the three parties, and a Joint Secretariat, consisting of three leaders each from each of the three parties, will develop the foundation and framework of the Pakatan Rakyat subject to the approval of the Leadership Council. This structure is in accordance with the consensus-based approach promulgated by the Pakatan Rakyat.
PKR, DAP and PAS have also won in the recent general elections 41, 73, and 86 seats, respectively, in the various state assemblies.
Pakatan Rakyat’s Component Parties and Leaders
- Democratic Action Party (Parti Tindakan Demokratik, DAP)
- People’s Justice Party (Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Keadilan @ PKR)
- Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, PAS)