PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan (PH) remains unwilling to name its candidate for prime minister should the coalition win the 14th general election (GE14), which is speculated to be held this year.
PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail side-stepped the issue when questioned at a media conference here today, merely saying the candidate chosen by the coalition would certainly be “far better” than the present Prime Minister Najib Razak.
He believed the focus of GE14 would be the battle between PH and BN to convince voters which coalition offered the better deal for the people.
PH is made up of PKR, DAP, Amanah and PPBM.
PH’s seeming reluctance to name its prime minister-designate has become a hot political topic heading into GE14 and is being exploited by its political foes to paint the coalition as being indecisive.
Various potential candidates have been suggested, including opposition leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
PH chief secretary Saifuddin Abdullah brushed aside these concerns after a weekly PH secretariat meeting at the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) headquarters here today.
He said it “would be easy to find a candidate who is better than the present prime minister”.
He pointed out that parties in the coalition had contested in the last general election under their individual party logos but still managed to win wide support, garnering a combined 52% of the popular vote.
“We have made a lot of progress since then (with a common logo to be used in GE14).
“An announcement (concerning the prime minister-designate) will surely be made in stages.”
The meeting today discussed PH’s Common Policy Framework as part of the preparations for GE14.
Saifuddin Abdullah said the framework was the outcome of discussions with all interested parties, such as NGOs, academics, women and youth organisations, and think tanks.
“These are our policies – containing Pakatan’s philosophy, objectives and basic propositions. From here, we will move on to official discussions with interested parties.
“As an inclusive coalition, we took into account the views of a number of organisations, like the United Nations on human capital development, Suhakam and Bersih, and programmes of voluntary movements such as ‘Teach For The Needs and Teach For Malaysia’.”
PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil revealed that, up to this morning, 317 designs had been received from the public for the proposed PH common logo.
The logo design was thrown open to the public after the three initial internally-produced designs were criticised as being “uninspiring”.