Pakatan too confident for their own good, says Zaid

(FMT) – Not every opposition supporter wants Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister.

Zaid Ibrahim laments the lack of common ground among opposition parties in Pakatan Harapan on the issue of who should be prime minister if Barisan Nasional (BN) is defeated in the next general election (GE14).

In a strongly worded posting on his blog today, the former minister criticised opposition parties for having “too much confidence for their own good”.

“I don’t understand opposition politics anymore. In 2008, even long after the election result was announced, they said they would form the new government by getting Sarawak and Sabah MPs to back them.

“Who can forget the magical date of Sept 16 (2008)? Then there was much expectation in 2013, and despite winning the popular vote, they were still more than 30 seats short,” he said, alluding to the opposition leadership under PKR’s de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim in the past two general elections.

Zaid’s blog posting today targeted the actions of PKR members during the 12th PKR National Congress held in Shah Alam yesterday.

“PKR are busy proclaiming Anwar Ibrahim as the new ‘7th prime minister’, and as if that’s not enough, they have also announced party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the ‘seat warmer’ while waiting for the Chosen One to be ready to take the throne,” Zaid said.

He added that the holding of placards with the words “Anwar the 7th PM” at the party congress showed a lack of finesse, and also showed “their lack of respect to both Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Muhyiddin Yassin who were present”.

Mahathir and Muhyiddin are chairman and president, respectively, of newest Pakatan Harapan component, PPBM.

Zaid said it was also arrogant of PKR to pick a prime minister-designate when the opposition has not even won anything yet.

“It’s baffling because it’s too early to tell if the combined MPs from PKR, DAP and Amanah can secure the magic number of 112.”

“In our system of government a prime minister is selected from the party that has the most support of MPs. If they need help from PPBM and other parties in Sabah and Sarawak to reach the simple majority, shouldn’t they discuss the question of PM-designate with them first before waving the placards?”

He suggested that some BN MPs from Sabah and Sarawak may even switch their allegiance should Najib lose and may even back a PPBM leader or a leader from their state instead to be PM.

Zaid, who joined DAP in February, then voiced his support, as well as that of many of his friends, young and old, for Mahathir to be the PM-designate.

“Not every opposition supporter wants Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister.

“For me and many of my friends, young and old, we will nominate Mahathir. We will push for him as prime minister, simply because he is the best for the job,” Zaid said, adding that having different candidates for PM could even make the opposition more interesting.

Zaid suggested having debates between the different PM-designates on election issues and other problems facing the country would also make the people to better know their PM choices.

“We need the people to be excited, to be energised about the new prime minister, otherwise, Najib will still rule after the election.

“Hence, having more than one PM-designate will make the run up to the election more exciting.”

Zaid told the parties in Pakatan Harapan to forget about having common logos and a common PM-designate, as that would not contribute to any unity in the coalition.

“It will lead to bickering, (maybe not openly), but it will still be felt by the voters.

“Just agree on seat arrangement, and as for everything else, to each their own.

“Pakatan Harapan must not try to be more than what it actually is,” he said, adding it would be no different to how things have been done in previous general elections with Pakatan parties having their separate ways of trying to win their respective seats.

“They don’t have a common war room, common funding. It’s too late in the day to try to be something more.”