Sabah, Sarawak PKR back Anwar Ibrahim for PM, says vice-president

PKR vice-president Michael Teo (left) says the endorsement is in line with the decision made by the PH presidential council on May 7 that Anwar Ibrahim be the candidate for prime minister.

PETALING JAYA: A PKR vice-president representing East Malaysia said today Sabah and Sarawak “strongly endorse” party president Anwar Ibrahim as the next prime minister, even as Sabah PKR remains torn over Shafie Apdal’s nomination for that post.

Michael Teo said their endorsement was in line with the decision made by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council on May 7 that Anwar be the candidate for prime minister.

Anwar was also named the new PH chairman and the new opposition leader at the same meeting.

“Borneo PKR continues to stand firm with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in upholding and continuing Pakatan Harapan’s reform agenda while we march towards the 15th general election together,” the Miri MP said in a statement.

Teo’s backing of Anwar follows reports that Sabah PKR chief Christina Liew was torn between the Port Dickson MP and the Sabah chief minister.

At a forum last night, Liew, who is also a deputy chief minister, said as a Sabahan she welcomed the idea of Shafie becoming the coalition’s choice for prime minister.

However, she said she was leaving it to the PH presidential council to make a stand.

Two days ago, the youth chiefs of the ruling Sabah parties, with the exception of PKR, declared their support for Shafie as the prime ministerial candidate in the event of a snap election.

Last week, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Anwar and former PPBM deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir had been nominated to be appointed deputy prime ministers if Shafie became prime minister.

Mahathir said the nominations were agreed upon at an informal meeting on June 25 attended by him, Shafie, Mukhriz, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and others from the DAP. Anwar and PKR were not named among those present.

Shafie said while he was “honoured” by the proposal, he would need some time to make a decision as he wanted to consult with his party colleagues.

However, he said he would make his decision known before Parliament convenes later this month.

Meanwhile, Sabah PKR vice-chairman Kenny Chua said although he respected Shafie “as my chief minister”, Anwar should be prime minister.

“This has been part of our election manifesto promises. So, we cannot break that pledge. My loyalty is to my president… I am a party man,” the state assistant finance minister told FMT.

“We made a promise to the people that Anwar would take over as prime minister in the last general election campaign.

“How will the people judge us if we don’t deliver what we had promised? I believe they expect us to be leaders with the highest integrity and honesty,” added the Inanam assemblyman.

Chua said there seemed to be no end in sight to the country’s political turmoil as tensions grew by the day over the choice of prime minister, stemming from the long-standing rivalry between Mahathir and his former deputy, Anwar.

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