PETALING JAYA: PKR de facto head Anwar Ibrahim has decided not to offer himself as Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) prime ministerial candidate for the upcoming 14th general election, citing friction over the issue within the opposition coalition.
He said he was making the move to enable the component parties to focus fully on winning the election which is due by the middle of next year.
“Such friction is tiring because the decision is in the hands of the people in the general election,” he said.
“It is hoped that all the efforts and initiatives will be placed on strengthening our machinery and attracting the support of the people,” he said in a statement today.
He said PPBM had a proposal to reshuffle PH’s structure with its own party leaders occupying the posts of chairman and president.
He said the idea was worrying as such a move would cause the coalition’s framework to be remodelled to copy that of the Barisan Nasional (BN).
“Therefore the readiness of all parties in PH to review and defer the proposal by maintaining the original consensus within PH is welcome,” he said.
PPBM joined PH on March 20. The original members of the coalition, PKR, DAP and Amanah, have all supported Anwar to be the prime minister if the coalition takes over the government.
The Malay Mail Online reported on June 9 that PPBM had proposed that its leaders Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Muhyiddin Yassin to be chairman and president respectively. They are holding the very same designations in their own party.
PPBM deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir later confirmed that the party had an alternative proposal for the leadership lineup but declined to reveal details.
This came about after the PKR congress on May 21 saw PKR delegates carrying placards that read “Anwar the 7th PM”. Among those who held up the cards were DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu.
However, Mahathir and Muhyiddin who were present refrained from doing so.
Anwar said PH needs to keep alive its tradition of consultation and consensus among all components as was done in the Pakatan Rakyat before it was terminated in June 2015.
“All party leaders have the same standing and the chairman is only a coordinator,” he said.
“All meeting preparations and agendas are implemented by the joint secretariat represented by all parties,” he added.
He also said the role played by Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years, should be used to the benefit of the opposition.
He said all leaders needed to participate effectively with the aim of mounting a formidable challenge to the ruling BN.