When should the Opposition name its PM-designate? Dr M weighs in

Mahathir-Kit Siang

(MMO) – The Opposition pact should not disclose its prime ministerial candidate so far ahead of the 14th general elections, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said tonight.

The country’s former leader feared that doing so will undo the ties among the component parties that are still being built for the polls due by 2018.

“Well if we name the PM, there will be others who will be disappointed and there will be quarrel among us. You see at the moment, we can’t name the PM,” said the retired prime minister of 22 years who now chairs the Opposition Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), after speaking at a forum here.

When asked when would be the perfect time for the Opposition to unveil its candidate, he said: “Near the elections perhaps.”

“It must be by popular support of all parties, not just by one party,” he added.

Last Friday night, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang proposed that Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin be made interim prime minister and deputy prime minister, respectively, if the Opposition wins the next general election.

Lim said that both the PKR president and PPBM president respectively would make suitable candidates for the interim posts, in light of the new electoral pact between Pakatan Harapan and PPBM.

Lim also said opposition pact Pakatan Harapan’s endorsement of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister-designate remained unchanged, even though the Federal Court had recently dismissed the PKR de facto leader’s bid to review his sodomy conviction and five-year jail sentence.

Anwar has been in prison since February 2015.

The 14th general election must be called by June 2018.

On Monday, PPBM information chief Datuk Kamaruddin Md Nor said discussions on election strategy such as naming potential candidates as interim prime minister and deputy prime minister should be made in private meetings, adding that suggestions on a Cabinet line-up is premature and the focus for the opposition should first be on winning the next general election.