No time for excuses or blame, Anwar tells opposition


(MMO) – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told the opposition today to close ranks after their stunning defeat in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections, insisting there was still time to work on their weaknesses before the next general election.

The jailed PKR de facto leader in a message from prison did not offer details but said it was necessary for the opposition to “pull together” if they wanted to present themselves as a viable alternative to Barisan Nasional (BN) at the federal contest.

“The opposition must look at this electoral outcome with humility, and take a hard look at our weaknesses,” he said, referring to the recently-concluded by-elections.

“This is no time for excuses or blame,” Anwar added.

The opposition front had entered the twin June 18 contests in a fractured state; a breakdown in negotiations saw Pakatan Harapan’s Amanah and PAS clash head-on in multi-cornered fights with BN.

The results were catastrophic for the two opposition parties, with BN emerging victors in both Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar, taking the seats with even larger vote margins than in Election 2013.

After the polls, the unrest on the opposition front continued, both sides blaming one another for the split in the opposition vote.

The results also fueled analyst predictions that without a unified opposition front, BN would easily return to power in Putrajaya in the 14th general election expected in two years.

Anwar said this may not necessarily be true, although he admitted that it would not be an easy task to defeat BN.

“To do so, we must all pull together,” he said. “If we stand united and determined for the sake of the rakyat, we will prevail.”

Anwar also urged the opposition to end their quarreling and concentrate on the fight against BN.

“Remember constantly that it is our moral duty to provide genuine alternative to the people.

“Put aside all differences, put aside internecine quarrels. Bring up grievances in the proper forum; sit together and resolve matters,” he said.