Anwar shifts focus from numbers game to GE15

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Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim appears to have shifted his focus to the next general election instead of taking over the government with the support of lawmakers from both sides of the divide.

He conveyed this message during a joint press conference with DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.

“We should focus on moving forward, to get our machinery ready to champion the aspirations of the people. For the people, the battlefield is the general election. Thus, this will be (Pakatan) Harapan’s focus.

“I feel that we will benefit as (we) move forward, strengthening our idealism which can be translated into votes in the next general elections,” he added.

Since September last year, Anwar has proclaimed that he possessed sufficient numbers to form the federal government.

On Sept 23, 2020, seven months after Perikatan Nasional took over Putrajaya via a political coup, Anwar claimed he had obtained a “strong and formidable” majority but declined to reveal the number of MPs on his side.

He later said that he had the support of 121 MPs out of the 222 total in the Dewan Rakyat.

However, the Dewan Rakyat sitting held in December saw the PN government passing Budget 2021 with 111 votes – a simple majority of the 220 MPs that were able to vote then.

In January, Anwar again claimed that between 114 to 115 MPs were against the state of emergency which PN had secured in January.

The PN government had proclaimed the nationwide emergency to deal with the Covid-19 crisis. The emergency is expected to end on Aug 1.

Anwar also admitted that he was approached to be part of the “Sheraton Move” conspiracy that toppled the Harapan government in February last year.

“The issue was completely irrelevant and of no consequence. Muhyiddin (Yassin) had a discussion with me but it was completely irrelevant to me and there was no concrete discussion beyond that,” said the PKR president.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin’s overture to Anwar was revealed by PKR organising secretary Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad in a recent interview with The Malaysian Insight.

Nik Nazmi said that if Anwar was desperate to become prime minister at all costs, he could have ditched DAP during the Sheraton Move scramble for power.

Last week, Lim expressed his surprise that Anwar never told him about the incident.

DAP senator Liew Chin Tong has questioned Nik Nazmi’s revelation, calling it a ‘revisionist take’.

“Perhaps it was meant to remind some DAP leaders to be ‘grateful’ and not question Anwar for negotiating with Umno’s Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Najib Abdul Razak,” said Liew.

Anwar has come under pressure after confirming last week that initial discussions have begun between several PKR and Umno leaders.

Umno, however, says it is standing firm by its decision not to cooperate with either PKR and DAP in the next general election. – Malaysiakini