No candidate to replace Anwar yet, says PAS

(The Malaysian Insider) – PAS was forced today to allay concerns that its leaders have been courting Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, declaring that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) does not have any leader in mind as yet to replace Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as opposition leader.

The party summoned a special press conference to clarify the issue at its headquarters here where secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali told reporters that he had checked with all leaders concerned and confirmed that the rumours were wrong.

He said that in the first place, such a matter would have to be discussed at the PR leadership level and not at any party level.

“We (PR) have never discussed who should take over (Anwar). We have not arrived at that bridge yet. Not yet. So the issue does no arise at all,” he said, when asked if PR has any candidates in mind as Anwar’s replacement.

Mustafa pointed out that Anwar’s sodomy trial was ongoing and a decision was unlikely to be reached before the next general election.

PAS has been at the centre of the controversy, first raised by Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim through the media.

According to Zahrain, an independent MP who was formerly from PKR, PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat had met the Kelantan prince, popularly referred to as “Ku Li”, to discuss the issue.

Nik Aziz denied the accusation last night and likened Zahrain to “trash where insects nest”.

“I have checked with all and there was no meeting between Tok Guru (Nik Aziz) and Ku Li. It never happened.

“It has never been discussed by PR, too. And now, Nik Aziz has also denied it. So where did they get this from? Zahrain?” Mustafa said today, smiling.