Pakatan MPs back Mukhriz’s proposal for unified opposition


(MMO) – Several federal lawmakers from Pakatan Harapan support Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) vice president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir’s call for all opposition parties to unite under a single banner.

PKR’s Chua Tian Chang and Parti Amanah Negara’s (Amanah) Khalid Samad both agreed that the opposition must agree to band together against Barisan Nasional in the next general election, adding that the details could come after.

“I think the name and logo can be discussed later… name is not a matter. The main issue is to form a grand coalition, which Pakatan has been advocating for all these while,” the PKR vice president said.

PKR, Amanah and DAP are already in the informal Pakatan Harapan pact.

Mukhriz, at a dialogue session in Shah Alam last night, suggested that the opposition form an alternative front, comprising all opposition parties under a single name and logo.

The former Kedah mentri besar proposed the coalition be named Barisan Rakyat, but was pessimistic about how it will be received.

Amanah’s communication director Khalid said that the idea to form of a grand coalition has been mooted several times in the past.

“Amanah has no problem with this…PKR has also been having programmes together [with PPBM] but DAP, I am not sure.

“If we can come up with a common policy framework then I think it should not be a problem for DAP,” the Shah Alam MP said.

Like Chua, Khalid also believed it was too soon to decide the name and logo for the proposed coalition.

On the possibility of PAS joining, Khalid said it should not be a problem if the Islamist party was willing to work on a common framework.

Mukhriz reportedly alluded to his father, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s disagreement to PAS joining the coalition, suggesting that the latter felt the Islamist party was on the side of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s BN.

When contacted, two DAP lawmakers accepted the idea of forming a unified front against BN, but expressed doubt that all Pakatan Harapan parties would support this.

“When a person proposes a grand coalition with a single logo, the proposal has to be approved by all concerned. It will depend on the consensus,” senior DAP leader Dr Tan Seng Giaw said.

DAP assistant national treasurer and Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming said the idea of a grand coalition should be explored, but said it would require tremendous effort to succeed.

PPBM was formed by former Umno leaders including Mukhriz, Dr Mahathir, and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, among others. It claims to rival Umno, but has demonstrated that it commands anywhere near the same level of support as the BN lynchpin.

Umno leaders have noted PPBM’s apparent lack of supporters, saying it was seeking cooperation with Pakatan Harapan parties out of desperation.