PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan (PH) chief secretary Saifuddin Abdullah today offered an explanation for the coalition’s choice of PH chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad and president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as its prospective prime minister and deputy prime minister in a PH government.
In a Facebook post, he said the best candidate to head a PH government would be jailed PH de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, but he could not be nominated yet.
“Who should be Anwar’s substitute? It ought to be a combination of Tun M-DSAI (referring to the acronyms of their names),” he said.
He said two “youth groups” supported either Mahathir or Anwar for the premiership.
Bringing the two groups together was vital and the Mahathir-Anwar combination was also key to win over women voters, he added.
He said this evaluation was based on the viral circulation of pictures of Mahathir and Anwar together at a courthouse and Mahathir’s wife Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali with Wan Azizah among youths and women.
“We should think deeply about this.
“What about other, much younger candidates while still sticking with the Tun M-DSAI combination? That can be discussed,” he said.
The PH member parties – PKR, DAP, Amanah and PPBM – discussed naming Mahathir and Wan Azizah as interim prime minister and deputy prime minister, respectively, if the coalition wins the next general election during a retreat last Sunday.
DAP, Amanah and PPBM were reported to have agreed to the proposal but PKR put off a final decision pending consultation with Anwar who is serving a prison sentence.
Saifuddin said PH needed to name its prime minister-designate before polling for the next general election.
He said PH’s predecessor, Pakatan Rakyat, tried to do it before the 13th general election but it did not succeed as there was no consensus on the candidate.