Pakatan’s first choice for PM is Anwar, then Shafie, say Guan Eng and Mat Sabu

(MMO) – Pakatan Harapan (PH) component party members have pledged to allow PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim the first opportunity to form government and become prime minister.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad  Sabu said that in the event Anwar fails to do so, a similar choice should be afforded to Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Shafie Apdal, as both men have the solid support of 109 MPs in the Dewan Rakyat.

“We reiterate that the 109 MPs should be the basis of reclaiming the government, not any lesser groupings of only 91 Pakatan MPs without Warisan and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Bersatu or only 71 MPs without PKR,” they said in a joint statement today.

Lim and Mohamad, who is better known as Mat Sabu, said their parties shared “the deep sense of disillusionment” among Malaysians that even with 109 seats in Parliament against the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, PH has failed to reclaim the people’s mandate.

“We disagree with the idea that Pakatan could negotiate with anyone with its 91 seats, to the exclusion of Warisan and Dr. Mahathir’s group. We also disagree with the idea that any change could happen with 71 MPs, without the participation of PKR’s 38 MPs.

“We are of the view that whether it is Anwar or Shafie, based on 109 MPs, whoever gets the requisite number to get across the line of 112 MPs, should be given the opportunity to lead the coalition government as prime minister,” they said.

Both leaders disagreed with the notion that since PH is unable to resolve the question of prime ministership, it should just remain the Opposition and wait until the next general election.

“We beg to differ. Any formula of winning the next general elections alone as Pakatan or without Pakatan would be difficult.

“Only PH Plus involving Pakatan, Warisan and Tun’s Bersatu is the winning combination for the next general election. This unified force should be the basic premise, not a divided or diminished Opposition grouping,” said Lim and Mohamad.

They added that for Pakatan to give up the effort to reclaim government is not only irresponsible, but by itself a betrayal of the voters’ choice on during the 14th general election on May 9, 2018.

“By not trying to win back government as quickly as possible, it would serve only to legitimise the Sheraton Coup, an unelected government, all its undemocratic policies and more importantly, its lack of political will to promote transparency and fight corruption. This travesty of justice should not be allowed to happen.

“In the meantime, the 109 PH Plus MPs and the five parties, namely Amanah, DAP, PKR, Warisan and Tun Dr. Mahathir’s faction of Bersatu, should work very closely together to play the role of a highly effective and united Opposition,” Lim and Mohamad said.

The two leaders cited the objectives of inspiring hope in a dark time of political, economic and Covid-19 crises, building trust and national unity among all Malaysians in the face of the divisive Perikatan Nasional, and exposing scandals such as 1MDB and championing clean government with integrity.

“There is also a need to strengthen economic security and economic solidarity among Malaysians in the face of the greatest economic crisis in generations which was triggered by the Covid-19 crisis.

“Pakatan will also continue to offer policy prescriptions and alternatives based on experience, expertise and competence gained during its tenure in office,” they said.

During the PKR convention yesterday morning in Ampang, its party information chief Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin urged PH to remain steady in its promise to name Anwar as prime ministerial candidate in the event it regains power in the next general election.