KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Apparent conflict in Pakatan Harapan (PH) is because the coalition does not restrict its members from expressing their opinions, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.
However, he urged would-be internal critics to be constructive in their comments, especially when touching on fellow leaders and allied parties.
“It is because of this openness that people assume that PH MPs are constantly fighting among themselves, when they have been given much freedom and democratic space, compared to the previous government,” he told Sinar Harian in an interview.
The Port Dickson MP compared this with Barisan Nasional (BN), which he said never allowed criticism from its members when it was in power.
He said the coalition regularly whipped allies’ members into line whenever they tried to speak out.
“I still remember when I was the Umno deputy president. There was no bravery. Speak a little, you get called,” he said.
Anwar also sought to allay public perceptions that the ruling coalition did not have shared ideals, insisting that the components actually have many things in common, such as their commitment to freedom of speech.
“That is what is called democracy we will give the space (to them),” he said, explaining this was one of the main reasons that the pact was seen as messy.