PKR Sec-Gen on Why Anwar Skipped Press Conference

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Because it would be on Bersatu’s internal affairs.

Pakatan Harapan decided that its leaders would issue a joint media statement following yesterday’s Dewan Rakyat sitting while the subsequent press conference would be on Bersatu’s internal affairs, said PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

According to him, this decision was made during Harapan’s meeting over the weekend.

Saifuddin was explaining PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s absence from the press conference. Not a single PKR lawmaker was present either.

“I attended the (Harapan) meeting on May 17. Tun M (Mahathir) explained in length why (Bersatu president) Muhyiddin Yassin made a mistake.

“Among the issues he (Mahathir) raised was that Muhyiddin did not obtain the mandate of the supreme council to withdraw Bersatu from Harapan and that Tun M will remain with Harapan.

“Harapan respects Tun M’s right as the Bersatu chairperson to explain the party’s stand to the media,” he told Malaysiakini this afternoon.

Saifuddin said Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng attended the press conference to provide moral support to Mahathir. Also present was Warisan president Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

He also revealed that Anwar had informed the other leaders that he would not be attending.

Yesterday, a PKR lawmaker told Malaysiakini that Anwar, who has taken over the post of Harapan chairperson from Mahathir, was invited for the press conference but was not keen on attending.

“Anwar said Tun (Mahathir) asked them for a joint press conference, but Anwar told PKR leaders that he did not want to be used,” added the MP, who declined to be named.

However, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil told Malaysiakini that the party president had to attend an interview with the New York Times.

Meanwhile, Saifuddin said the May 17 meeting resolved to strengthen cooperation between the parties in Harapan and Warisan.

“Anwar and PKR’s commitment is to help Harapan and the opposition bloc to return the people’s mandate (in the last general election),” he added.

The Harapan government collapsed in late February following the exit of former PKR deputy president Azmin Ali and his allies as well as the Bersatu faction led by Muhyiddin.

Following a week-long political crisis, Muhyiddin was appointed as prime minister and head of the Perikatan Nasional coalition which also comprises Harapan’s former adversaries Umno and PAS.

However, the new government commands a wafer-thin two-seat majority in the Lower House. – Malaysiakini