Loke: ‘Baseless’ claim PH sidelined Pejuang, Warisan in deal with govt

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A DAP leader has dismissed Federal Territories Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan’s claim that Pakatan Harapan had sidelined other opposition parties in its negotiations with the government on a confidence and supply deal.

Khairuddin lamented that Pakatan Harapan had sidelined other opposition parties in its negotiations with the government on a confidence and supply deal.

“When the nomination of the prime minister to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong came up recently, Harapan leaders came to meet (Pejuang chairperson) Dr Mahathir Mohamad to appeal that he supports (opposition leader) Anwar Ibrahim.

“The Harapan leaders appealed, tried to convince and was willing to do anything at the time in order to realise their impossible dream of making the opposition leader the ninth prime minister.

“Now, when it is time to negotiate with the government about the list of reforms proposed by the prime minister, Anwar and Harapan leaders sidelined Pejuang, Warisan and the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) who voted together with them to nominate an opposition candidate for prime minister,” Khairuddin said in a statement yesterday.

The opposition had put up a united front to back Anwar who garnered the support of 105 MPs but it fell short of Umno’s Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s 114.

Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah supported neither. There are presently 220 MPs in the Dewan Rakyat and two vacant seats

DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke described Khairuddin’s claim as being baseless, citing several meetings between Harapan and other opposition party leaders, including from Pejuang.

“In fact, a special briefing was given by Harapan leaders to Pejuang president Mukhriz Mahathir on the contents of the memorandum of understanding.

“Representatives from Warisan were also invited to attend the briefing but they were absent,” Loke said on Facebook today.

“We were made to understand that Pejuang and Warisan were not ready to sign the MOU with the government. Harapan respects their stand,” he added.

Loke, however, said it does not mean Harapan will not cooperate with the two parties on other issues.

He added that other platforms for bipartisan cooperation in Parliament include through new special select committee membership that would be set up as part of the promised reforms.

Khairuddin yesterday accused PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and other Harapan leaders of being untrustworthy and that Pejuang should proceed with the party’s plans to individually contest in 120 parliamentary seats in the 15th general election.

“They used others to gain support for their interest – nothing more than that.

“To me, Anwar and Harapan cannot be made friends. They are insincere and individualistic,” he added.

The government-Harapan MOU will be signed during a function in Parliament at 5pm today and both sides have committed to revealing its contents as a commitment to full transparency and accountability.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had offered various reforms to the opposition in exchange for support in order to ensure political stability due to his slim majority.