BUTTERWORTH: Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged component parties to focus on the bigger picture of the opposition pact as a whole instead of concentrating on their own party loyalties.
He said setting up a coalition was not easy as each party would naturally swear allegiance to its own.
“Of course, Amanah would prioritise Amanah. PPBM would do so for PPBM. Similarly for DAP and PKR. All parties will feel the need to showcase their own parties.
“But if we hold too much loyalty to our own parties, we cannot be united. To be united, we need to let our parties take a backseat, and prioritise PH,” he said in his speech at the Penang PH convention, held at the SP Arena in Seberang Jaya near here last night.
Also present were PH president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, as well as other state PH leaders.
Mahathir, who is also PPBM chairman, said all four parties must be united to win the 14th general election (GE14), otherwise they would remain the opposition instead of forming the federal government.
“As long as he or she is a PH candidate, we will all give our support and not fight with the candidate. This will ensure victory.
“We do not want to be the opposition anymore. We want to be the government. We hold on to the struggle of PH, which is to only place one candidate in one seat. And regardless of the party, all the other parties will support that candidate.”
Mahathir said the former opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, had only managed to come together before GE13, which meant that its components were not as united as PH.
“This time, long before the general election, we already had an agreement to announce PH as an opposition pact. It is a big achievement as we cooperated much earlier, and forged closer and stronger ties. We held our PH national convention, which was attended by all parties.
“This has never happened before. We achieved unity, realising that with a coalition, we can win,” he said.
Last night’s event also saw the launch of the Penang PH GE14 machinery.
The issue of PH’s registration as a formal coalition remains unsettled, with Mahathir previously saying the Registrar of Societies (Ros) had yet to respond on its status.
In July last year, the RoS told PH it would have to change its logo in order for the coalition’s registration to be approved and formalised. It said the logo was unsuitable as it did not contain PH’s full name.