Pakatan Harapan must be united and cohesive in order to uphold its ideals and promises to Malaysia, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said to explain the coalition’s continued cooperation with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Dr Mahathir is nominally the chairman of the ruling Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia but is working with PH to oppose his party’s president, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
In a Facebook Live session today, Anwar said PH must not give up on the reform agenda and needed the support of those such as Dr Mahathir to continue this struggle.
The PKR president and PH came under criticism for maintaining ties with Dr Mahathir who continues to be blamed for the February political crisis that led to the collapse of the PH administration.
Anwar and Dr Mahathir issued a joint statement on May 9 saying they have set aside their differences in order to jointly oppose the Perikatan Nasional government that came to power unelected.
“If we read the content of the statement, it is only inviting the people to understand the stance of the Opposition as a whole,” Anwar said.
“I signed it as the Opposition leader. The duty of the Opposition leader is not only to be the chairman of PH that compromises Keadilan (PKR), Amanah, DAP but all of the Opposition, including the Bersatu faction under Tun Dr Mahathir and Warisan in Sabah
“That is why I made the joint statement,’’ he said.
Anwar acknowledged the criticism arising from the joint statement and said he understood the origins of the sentiment.
However, he said it was his prerogative as the leader of the federal Opposition to rally support where he could.
“Even if there are efforts by others to challenge me for the position, the consensus that we reached in PH is that I should continue and I believe because PH feels that the spirit of the manifesto, the spirit of idealism should not fade,’’ he said.
In the May 9 statement, both Anwar and Dr Mahathir reaffirmed their rejection of the PN government that slipped into the vacuum left after the previous administration collapsed due to Dr Mahathir’s resignation as the prime minister.
The two leaders have a complicated history tracing back to 1998 when Dr Mahathir sacked Anwar as his deputy prime minister.
They previously claimed to have set aside their enmity to cooperate in opposing the Barisan Nasional government but went on to issue remarks in the aftermath of the February crisis that showed their continued mistrust of one another. – MMO