KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — A former deputy minister has pointed out that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad must now more than ever work together so save the nation from the current turmoil, amid worry that both are yet to mend their ties.
DAP’s Liew Chin Tong, in a statement today, pointed out the importance of the two veterans working together to avoid the country from falling under the control of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the long-standing Barisan Nasional (BN) figure Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“There has been much recent speculation about the relationship between Mahathir and Anwar. Will Mahathir and Anwar be able to overcome their differences?
“I believe for the sake of the nation, they will have to work together to fight against Muhyiddin, Najib and the money in his hands.
“Without Mahathir and Anwar working in unison, Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) 109 seats will be fragmented and Muhyiddin will be the biggest winner.
“Refusing to join forces is akin to giving a free passage to Muhyiddin’s rule,” Liew said in a statement today.
Liew, stressing his point, pointed out the need to go up against Muhyiddin and especially Najib, whom he alleged is looking at returning to power as chairman of BN, while undertaking a bigger plot to possibly exonerate himself from his ongoing corruption trials if he assumes power.
He said besides the two veteran politicians, Sabah’s Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal who leads Parti Warisan Sabah, will also play an integral part in ensuring PH Plus remain solid with what he suspects could be a total 130 MPs cumulatively.
According to Liew, should PH Plus remain together with Warisan, it would be able to challenge Muhyiddin claims of Parliamentary majority and apply constant pressure to his Perikatan Nasional government.
His statement today also pointed out other crucial factors related to the local political scene, one of which was the question of whether snap elections will be called this year as Muhyiddin attempts to boost his “razor-thin” majority within Parliament.
Liew claimed that should Muhyiddin fail to obtain the majority he seeks by the July 13 Parliamentary sitting, he might attempt to delay the Dewan Rakyat session even longer.
“However, the same trick can no longer be used by October as the government has to present its 2021 Budget by then. Failure by the government to pass its Budget would be considered a vote of no confidence as there will be no money for the government to spend in the coming year.
“Muhyiddin has to now start thinking whether or not to call a snap election and seek legitimacy through the ballot box,” said Liew.
He then moved on to whether PH Plus can remain as a stable coalition, saying the key to maintaining a functional relationship within the coalition is to manage each party’s differences and build trust.
Liew then questioned the position of Sarawak and its political leaders, in particular the Gabungan Parti Sarawak coalition, whom he said have lost their moral by ground by agreeing to be in cooperation with Umno despite previously detesting it.
He claimed that GPS would also look to avoid snap elections if they end up on the wrong side of the political divide, especially ahead of their state elections due in 2021, and labelled them kingmakers to either PN or PH Plus should they join forces.
The senator also stressed on the need for DAP to proclaim their stance towards national unity, and to avoid being made the bogeyman by their opponents to further intensify ethnic tensions.
He said DAP as a party recognises the importance in uniting Anwar and Dr Mahathir to end the current political uncertainty, but also urged party and coalition colleagues to remain united and be prepared in the event snap polls are called.
“Once Pakatan holds together tightly, Perikatan’s days are numbered,” he said.