KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — Maszlee Malik today said Malaysia needs both Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim must find ways to invigorate their cooperation and put aside their past differences.
The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) supreme council member said that the internal strife that has been ongoing within Pakatan Harapan (PH), had sullied the image of the former government coalition, leading to a trust deficit among voters.
“People want leaders who focus on work and services to the nation as well as to the rakyat. That’s all.
“Like it or not, the two towering figures of PH, that is Tun Dr Mahathir and Datuk Seri Anwar must immediately find ways to renew their strong partnership, by forgetting past turmoils.
“The country needs Tun Dr Mahathir. The country also needs Datuk Seri Anwar,” Mazlee said.
He said that both Dr Mahathir and Anwar are familiar faces in the Malaysian political landscape, and have their own strengths.
The Simpang Renggam MP explained the hurdles Anwar faces in wanting to be prime minister, zooming down to the number of seats he first needs to have from peninsular Malaysia.
He said that the Port Dickson MP needs to prove that he can win 95 seats from the peninsular states, before negotiating for support from the ‘Borneo block’.
Maszlee said that additionally, Anwar must also prove to voters that he “possesses a greater aura then Dr Mahathir, by being able to tame” Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) as well as the Sarawak Governor, who have their own vision.
“To this day, the most capable person to tame these three categories is Tun Dr Mahathir. He has proven it before, and he looks the most credible to do so.
“The question is, with the instability, and without Tun Dr Mahathir’s aura, can Datuk Seri Anwar lead Pakatan Harapan and win again in the GE15? Are the people willing to bet their hope, or face failure like what happened in the 1999, 2004, 2008 and 2013 general elections? he asked.
Maszlee also implored and called upon all parties to prioritise the needs of the country and not personal aspirations.
“It is not about who is the prime minister, but about this country which we love. It is about people’s aspiration. Our victory and achievements all these while is because of the hard work of everyone; the rakyat, civil servants, MPs regardless of backbenchers of ministers and all this hard work must be returned to the people. The people should be the one tasting the harvest.
“Are we willing to push aside all these, just to make one party achieve their ambitions?” Maszlee asked.
*Editor's note: An earlier version of this story erroneously referred to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Permatang Pauh MP, and has since been rectified.