Kit Siang calls on activists to help frame PH reform agenda

lim-kit-siang-Haris-IbrahimPETALING JAYA: DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang has invited political activists, to help draft the agenda for Pakatan Harapan (PH) themselves.

He made the appeal in particular to activist Haris Ibrahim, who has expressed concern about the opposition’s reform agenda under former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Haris Ibrahim and other political activists (are) invited to work with the Pakatan Harapan secretariat to prepare the Pakatan Harapan reform agenda to save Malaysia,” the Gelang Patah MP said today.

He said Haris’ concerns were valid as the PH coalition comprising DAP, PKR, Amanah and PPBM wanted not only a change of prime minister but also a reform agenda to ensure that “there cannot be another Najib (Razak)” to helm the government again.

In a statement today, he said the agenda was needed to save Malaysia from becoming “a failed and a rogue state”. The statement was issued following his speech at a dinner held by the DAP’s Grisek branch in Johor today.

The DAP parliamentary leader said the most meaningful way to celebrate the country’s 60th national day on Aug 31 would be for the 14th general election (GE14) to be made a “national landmark” to unite Malaysians based on the PH reform agenda.

In an interview carried by FMT today, Haris said the reform agenda may be set back if Mahathir, who is chairman of PPBM and PH, was chosen as prime minister in the event that the opposition coalition won the election due by August next year.

He was commenting on a recent assessment of Malaysia’s political situation by Global Risk Insights, a publication for political risk news and analysis founded at the London School of Economics.

According to the assessment, Mahathir’s leadership of PH and the fallout from the 1MDB affair could turn the tide against Barisan Nasional (BN) in GE14.

Haris said it appeared that PH had no choice but to appoint Mahathir as prime minister since the preferred opposition choice for the post, Anwar Ibrahim, would still be in jail over a controversial sodomy conviction at the time the election results are announced.

The pardon process that would see Anwar released – “if at all possible” – would take some time, he said.

“If we don’t have a reformist at the helm, and instead have someone who still cannot acknowledge that his 22 years of rule inflicted great damage on our institutions, then we won’t have those reforms,” he said, referring to Mahathir’s rule over the country from 1981 to 2003.

Haris said Mahathir’s refusal to take responsibility for the alleged crippling of the judiciary was a clear indication that he was not a reformist.

Lim said there was consensus in PH that Anwar would be the nation’s eighth prime minister if PH wrested Putrajaya and toppled Najib Razak as prime minister.

He said a decision has still to be taken based on consensus of who would be the seventh prime minister if PH won, to work on an agenda so that Anwar could become the eight prime minister.