Midnight breakthrough for new Pakatan government.
The breakthrough for a possible Pakatan Harapan (PH) government under Dr Mahathir Mohamad again came late last night, after he agreed to his daughter Marina’s request to meet the remaining parties in his collapsed government.
In a day of fast-moving events where alliances and promises were swiftly made and equally quickly broken, a fuming Dr Mahathir kept silent and refused to speak to any politician, including the precocious Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman who leads Armada, Bersatu’s youth wing.
The PH leaders reached out to social activist Marina to get a short meeting, said to be at about 2am, where they eventually hammered out an agreement similar to the one a week ago.
“It took a few phone calls and text messages but finally Marina managed to get her father around to speaking to PH leaders,” a source was quoted as saying.
That would mean Dr Mahathir remains as prime minister, still choose his retirement date after the KL Apec Summit and form a government that would include technocrats.
Sources said Dr Mahathir will still have to get the numbers from Sarawak and Sabah parties to be named as prime minister but there were “encouraging signs”.
The details have yet to be finalised, but PKR’s Wong Chen alluded to the agreement in a Facebook post, saying PKR president Anwar Ibrahim would not join the new Mahathir administration.
There is also speculation that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) would join the new cabinet as well as Sabah’s Warisan.
Sarawak DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen said the chapter is willing to make concessions to GPS in the upcoming state election, in the name of national interest.
“In the name of national interest, anything can,” he was quoted as saying.
Dr Mahathir had issued a statement this morning saying he would request to meet the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as a prospective prime as he had the numbers.
Just minutes after Dr Mahathir said he has the mandate to be prime minister again, PH issued its own statement echoing the 94-year-old’s.
“Pakatan is the coalition that received a clear mandate in GE14.
“Pakatan is against any attempts at backdoor governments that involves kleptocrats and traitors who will reverse the reforms done till now.
“As such, Pakatan now states its full support for Dr Mahathir to become its candidate for prime minister.”
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, when contacted on whether Mahathir was restoring the Harapan government, merely gave a brief “Yes” but did not elaborate.
This morning, Anwar himself posted on his official Twitter account the PH presidential council’s statement which declared PH’s full support for Dr Mahathir as prime minister.
Anwar said the re-nomination of Dr Mahathir as Malaysia’s eighth prime minister is PH’s decision.
According to Sabah DAP, PH backing for Mahathir is to stop a Malay-centric government which would be unhealthy for the country.
It said the transition of power is the least of the PH leaders’ concern at present.
“The political bloc that supports Muhyiddin Yassin consists of the kleptocratic BN and PAS, a conservative religious party.
“We cannot let these leaders come to power. It is not healthy. We need to uphold multi-culturalism as the pillar of this country,” Sabah DAP secretary Chan Foong Hin said today.
He said this was why the PH leaders were willing to set aside plans to install Anwar as the prime minister and back Mahathir instead.
Chan noted that Warisan had been consistent in supporting Mahathir to remain as the prime minister throughout the crisis.
He said he met with Warisan president Mohd Shafie Apdal last night and Shafie reiterated that the party’s stand had not changed since the crisis began to unfold one week ago.
The latest twist to the saga now puts Dr Mahathir back in the driving seat to reprise his role as prime minister again.
This latest development now puts Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin on the spot again as the party had yesterday said all 36 of its MPs were supporting the president instead of its chairman Dr Mahathir.