PKR wants to hold on to post


(The Star) – While some in the DAP want the party to take over the Opposition Leader’s post, PKR leaders are not that happy to let go of it.

PKR vice-president Fuziah Salleh said the party had a special role to play in Pakatan Rakyat and deserved to keep the job.

“We play a unifying role in Pakatan,” said Fuziah, who is the Kuantan MP.

She said PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, being the party’s most senior leader in Parliament, should assume the post.

Asked if it would prove too much on the plate for Azmin as he is also the Selangor Mentri Besar, Fuziah said he was a capable leader.

Azmin said the need to appoint a new Opposition Leader had not arisen yet, as jailed PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was still holding the post.

Anwar’s Permatang Pauh seat will be declared vacant by the Election Commission soon, as the Federal Court rejected his appeal against his sodomy conviction.

Meanwhile, there is speculation that the DAP is also gunning for the post.

According to sources, although the party’s veteran MPs are not adamant over the post going to the DAP, some of its younger elected representatives feel otherwise.

They feel that since the DAP holds the most number of seats among Pakatan in Parliament, the post should go to it.

The DAP holds 37 seats in Parliament compared to PKR’s 28 and PAS’ 21.

“It is not a big issue for us as we have been playing second fiddle to PKR in terms of the Opposition chief’s position in Parliament for almost eight years now,” said a veteran DAP MP.

When contacted, PKR Central Committee member William Leong said the matter would be discussed at the Pakatan Presidential Council meeting soon.

The meeting, scheduled last Friday, was postponed indefinitely due to the death of PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat.

National Council of Professors’ political cluster head Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said the possibility of any of the Pakatan parties taking over the Opposition chief’s post was wide open.

“If there is ballot voting among the three parties, the number of seats held by PKR and PAS far surpasses that of the DAP’s,” he said.

He said the best option for all three parties would be to negotiate and find the most suitable candidate.