Anwar: No compromise on principles in ‘big tent’ talks

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Still in favour of a political “big tent” for the opposition, Anwar Ibrahim promised Pakatan Harapan (PH) would not compromise on its principles in exchange for power.

“Any political cooperation we have will be based on clear principles and not for the sake of political expediency,” said the PKR president during his policy speech at the 16th PKR congress in Shah Alam today.

“We will not ignore our principles of good governance, anti-corruption and upholding of laws and judiciary in exploring other forms of political cooperation.

Seth Akmal/TMI

“These principles, which we have upheld, means we are not ready to exchange it for power although these are the same ones that have made it harder for us to regain the mandate,” said the 74-year-old PH chairman.

Although many have complained that PKR did not get the prime minister’s post, Anwar said they were not willing to sacrifice their struggles to gain the seat.

“This only strengthens our resolve to win the 15th general election,” he added.

During his speech earlier, Anwar had explained he came close to becoming prime minister last year but was unwilling to agree to drop several corruption cases against former prime minister Najib Razak.

The issue came to light earlier this month after Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman revealed that Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had signed a statutory declaration for Anwar to be prime minister during his bid to oust former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin in October 2020.

Tajuddin, who spoke up after he was sacked from the Umno Supreme Council, confirmed Anwar’s revelations that he had sufficient support to replace Muhyiddin.

But Anwar said that it failed to materialise as he did not agree to dropping the corruption cases against Najib.

The political “big tent” for the opposition was raised again after PH lost to Barisan Nasional (BN) in the last two state elections in Malacca and Johor after opposition votes were split between PH and Perikatan Nasional.

But while political pundits observed that the opposition needs to regroup to deny BN in the next general election, their supporters are split after Muhyiddin’s Bersatu withdrew from PH and caused its government to fall in 2020.

Newly elected deputy president Rafizi Ramli, who is against a big-tent approach, won big in the recent party polls.

In the run-up to today’s central leadership committee elections, Rafizi has urged members to only pick candidates who are against the idea.

The PKR congress is being held physically for the first time since 2019 after the Covid-19 pandemic stalled past assemblies. – TMI