KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s freedom and political future cannot be Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) main agenda, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) has said.
PPBM also said that PKR had no right to dictate terms on how the PH coalition is run, or who should be its prime minister candidate should they win the next general election.
“This is the PH coalition, everyone has to discuss and arrive at a decision, not just PKR dictating terms on how the coalition is run.
“We do not want PH to be seen as just a coalition for Anwar,” PPBM supreme council member Datuk Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff told Malay Mail when contacted.
He was responding to a Malaysiakini report which stated that PKR would only agree with PH’s suggestion to name Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as PM and deputy prime minister candidates if certain conditions were met.
Quoting sources, the report said that PKR’s political bureau wanted an assurance that Dr Mahathir would push to campaign for Anwar’s release from prison.
They also wanted the PH chairman to promise that he would only be an interim prime minister until Anwar can take over.
“Anwar’s plight is important, and we’ve given our commitment to that, but PH’s objective must be about saving the country, focusing on the bigger picture.
“It cannot be one person or one party dictating the agenda or narrative,” Rais explained.
The PPBM strategist said that it was unfortunate that details of a supposedly high-level PKR meeting had been leaked to the press and that no one from the party had addressed these “unverified” stories.
“Things have to be discussed openly with coalition members, you cannot leak this (news) and expect everyone to fall in line,” he said.
Rais also pointed out that PH had a responsibility to uphold the rule of law, and that very process of releasing Anwar would take time and stages.
“There is due process, various stages, you cannot bend everything for one person, one party.”
Rais also said that PPBM will propose for any future arrangements or agreements between PH parties to be made public in the interest of transparency.
Besides Rais, another PPBM supreme council member, Akhramsyah Sanusi confirmed that PKR has not formally approached the party with any conditions or caveats with regards to Dr Mahathir’s position as PM candidate.
“PPBM, through Dr M’s wisdom have learned to make decisions within formal lines, so we don’t wish to react through the leaks of any party.
“If that same discipline is applied to PH, we should all treat such leaks with the lack of dignity they deserve,” he told Malay Mail when contacted.
PH parties are currently finalising a proposal to announce its candidate for prime minister at its convention on January .
Malay Mail reported this week that the PH leadership is currently divided over the matter, as some feel the announcement should be kept until Parliament is dissolved, while others believe that the convention would be the most suitable platform to do so.
The PH convention will be held at the Shah Alam Convention Centre.
The Opposition coalition recently proposed Dr Mahathir as prime minister and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah as his deputy, should it win the next general election.
The choice was reportedly agreed by the coalition’s “G5”, comprising PH chairman Dr Mahathir, president Dr Wan Azizah, and deputy presidents Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Guan Eng and Mohamed Sabu.