Mat Sabu Sticks with Anwar Despite Budget 2021 Furore

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Mohamad Sabu said he will stick with Anwar Ibrahim even though he was reportedly furious at the PKR president who ordered Pakatan Harapan not to call for a bloc vote during the second reading of Budget 2021 in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday.

Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu, said it was difficult to part ways after struggling together for the same cause.

For the same reason, Mohamad said he also refused to give in to calls to abandon pro-tem Parti Pejuang Tanah Air chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad who is in conflict with Anwar.

“Our relationship in Pakatan Harapan, particularly with Anwar, is a long one. For 20 years, we have faced challenges together in our struggle.

“It must be defended. Everyone has weaknesses, but they can be fixed. What is more important is unity and friendship.

Kamal Ariffin/TMI

“At the same time, we are always finding ways to make new friends and have fewer opponents. This is the attitude that we take,” he said in a statement.

Likewise, Mohamad noted that the opposition had cooperated with Mahathir in the last general election to defeat a “kleptocratic government”.

Harapan, and Mahathir who now leads an independent opposition bloc, drifted apart after the collapse of the Harapan federal government in late February.

Mahathir served as the prime minister of the Harapan government after winning in the 2018 general election with the promise that he will eventually hand over power to Anwar.

After the sudden collapse of his government, Mahathir blamed his lieutenant Muhyiddin Yassin and accused the new prime minister of betraying him.

However, some in the opposition, particularly in PKR, have also blamed Mahathir for not consulting Harapan during critical moments of the political upheaval.

The subsequent cold relationship between Anwar and Mahathir has been a stumbling block to a unified opposition.

The falling out has also caused cracks in Amanah as some within the party want the leadership to sever ties with Mahathir.

Despite that, Mohamad said as he had fought together with Mahathir against former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, he also won’t turn against the Langkawi MP.

“When there are calls advising that I leave Mahathir and attack him, I said ‘no’.

“We had cooperated and stood on the same platform in fighting a powerful kleptocratic government,” he said.