Amid internal discord, pro-Anwar group claims plot to keep Dr M as PM

Otai Reformis chairman Dr Idris Ahmad speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur January 3, 2019. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Otai Reformis chairman Dr Idris Ahmad speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur January 3, 2019. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 ― There is a faction within PKR that is aligned to a movement that intends to block Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from becoming the next prime minister, a group of veteran activists calling itself Otai Reformis claimed today.

Its chairman Dr Idris Ahmad alleged statements by some top PKR leaders, such as deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Pakatan Harapan secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, pointed to a possible conspiracy to keep Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in power.

“We can see from the statements on Facebook... or even by a minister,” the PKR Ijok assemblyman told a press conference here.

“Why are there suddenly comments [about the power transition] here and there, and this creates or suggests doubt over what has been agreed upon.” he added.

Asked by the media recently, Saifuddin explained that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council’s meeting has never discussed the length of Dr Mahathir’s term as prime minister, despite the agreement that Anwar will be the next prime minister.

However, Anwar has since said yesterday that Dr Mahathir must be given the space to lead the country within the “agreed upon” duration.

Otai Reformis said today that a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia delegate’s proposition that Dr Mahathir remains as prime minister until the end of the term was also the clearest clue of the purported move against Anwar.

Dr Idris also pointed to Azmin’s criticism of Anwar’s decision to appoint leaders to key party positions openly, which he claimed was intended to taint the PKR president’s credibility.

The group claimed Azmin’s criticism could link the latter to be part of a pro-Mahathir movement.

“We would like to express our disappointment towards Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, the deputy president, for questioning the appointments of individuals for posts at the central level,” it said.

“Otai Reformis also opines that it was inappropriate for him to voice his disagreement through the media and not via the proper channel.”

The group will continue to speak up against attempts to derail Anwar’s ascendancy, Dr Idris added.

Azmin said the appointments were undemocratic and did not reflect “genuine” sentiment from the grassroots.

Anwar did not respond directly but made what was seemingly a veiled attack against his deputy, urging Azmin to focus on his job as economic affairs minister “instead of politicking”.