PKR president Anwar Ibrahim will be the opposition leader when Pakatan Harapan returns to the Dewan Rakyat on May 18, said party sources.
“Anwar will lead the opposition again after Bersatu left the coalition,” a senior PKR leader told The Malaysian Insight.
The decision was reached by senior leaders from PKR, DAP and Amanah after the collapse of the PH federal government on March 24.
The collapse was triggered by Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s resignation as prime minister and Bersatu’s withdrawal from PH on the same day.
Although Dr Mahathir remains on “cordial” terms with PH, the source said it is unclear if he would lead the coalition again.
“While Dr Mahathir is still Bersatu chairman and has signalled that he is not part of the new Perikatan Nasional government that is now led by Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, it’s still unclear what will happen next.
“Under the circumstances, it makes sense for Anwar to be opposition leader again,” he added.
While PH is still cooperating with Dr Mahathir’s faction in Kedah to preserve the state government, the Johor, Perak and Malacca governments fell following Muhyiddin’s decision to work with Umno and PAS.
During the political tussle, PH also decided to back Dr Mahathir as prime minister again on February 29 but since then, no decision has been made on Dr Mahathir’s future.
After a shaky month of internal politics that saw Muhyiddin “replace” Dr Mahathir as the party chairman, the 94-year-old will again become chairman after winning Bersatu’s first party elections uncontested.
While that is settled, other key Dr Mahathir loyalists are still challenging Muhyiddin’s faction in the party elections his year.
Dr Mahathir’s son and Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz will challenge Muhyiddin for the president’s post while another Dr Mahathir loyalist, Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman will take on his former aide Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal and another exco member Mohd Muzammil Ismail in a three-way battle for the youth chief post.
In the aftermath of the Bersatu political tussle, Wan Fayhsal was made senator and the deputy youth and sports minister under Muhyiddin’s government.
Anwar’s political secretary, Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak, confirmed the decision to appoint the former as opposition leader again.
“The decision was made by the Pakatan presidential council recently.
“It’s only natural for Pakatan to appoint Anwar as he has led the reform agenda since 2008. It’s the right step forward,” said the Perak PKR chief.
When contacted, several DAP lawmakers and leaders declined to confirm or deny the report while two Amanah MPs said they are unaware of the developments.
There will be 103 opposition MPs comprising of DAP (42), PKR (39), Amanah (11), Warisan (9), Upko (1) and Parti Sarawak Bersatu (1).
And while Dr Mahathir’s faction of five MPs have indicated that they do not support Muhyiddin and his new government, it’s unclear where they will stand in Dewan Rakyat.
Anwar was opposition leader from August 26, 2008 until February 10, 2015 when he was jailed on trumped-up sodomy charges under Barisan Nasional. He was released in 2018 after receiving a royal pardon. – TMI