Respect PH consensus on transition, says Anwar after group vows street protests

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim says he will not allow PKR leaders to criticise the decision made by the Pakatan Harapan presidential council last night.

BANGI: PKR president Anwar Ibrahim has called on all parties, including PKR members, to respect the consensus achieved by Pakatan Harapan on the transfer of power from Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to him.

“PKR, and other friends too, should respect the decision.

“I can instruct the party but I can only urge the others to respect the decision because our focus should be on the economy and the impact of the coronavirus.”

He said he would not allow PKR leaders to criticise the decision made by PH.

Earlier today, pro-Anwar group Otai Reformis said they would take to the streets to demand that Mahathir hand over power to the PKR president.

Otai Reformis secretary Abdul Razak Ismail told FMT they wanted Mahathir to resign and hand over power to Anwar in May and not after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in November, as stated by Mahathir.

Last night, the ruling coalition’s top leaders agreed not to fix a specific date for the handover of power, under a deal struck by Pakatan Harapan prior to the 14th general election.

“The agreement is that it is up to me when to resign,” Mahathir said after last night’s meeting.

Anwar had described the discussions as tense, though he said this was normal in a democracy.

“What is important is that no one disputed the transition,” he said after attending the Himpunan 6 Dekad Keluarga Besar Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam Malaysia today.

Anwar also downplayed the reported exit of some 3,000 Tanjung Manis PKR members from the party in Sarawak over their dissatisfaction with the party’s central leadership.

“We don’t have 3,000 members there. It is just the propaganda of the other group,” he said, without naming anyone and added PKR still had 1.1 million members.

On the issue of punishments that were deemed excessive for terrorism-related offences, Anwar said there were cases which could be reviewed.

He said there were Islamic State detainees whose alleged links to the terrorist group could not be confirmed.

Anwar said while he could not compromise on terrorism, he had met people in Sungai Buloh, where he was imprisoned, who were jailed for minor offences like owning shirts linked to terrorist groups.

“I urge that this matter be reviewed and the same consideration be given as these Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) detainees.”

Yesterday, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas dropped the charges against 12 individuals, accused of having links with the now-defunct group LTTE, as there was “no realistic prospect” for the conviction of the 12 under any of the 34 charges brought against them.

“Millions of people across the globe admire Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung or Che Guevara, and the like.

“Having their photos and other representations in one’s mobile phone or on a Facebook account does not transform one to become a terrorist,” Thomas said in a statement.