KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — DAP has urged its ally PKR today to make up its mind on agreeing to having Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) prime minister candidate, saying the pact’s other components have all agreed to it.
In an interview with Malaysiakini, its organising secretary Anthony Loke said the pact needs to decide on the matter now in order to move on and therefore PKR must no longer drag its feet.
“There must be a clear direction of what is the way forward. It can’t be neither here nor there Once we have a decision, then we can move on. That is DAP’s position,” Loke was reported saying.
“We decided to speak [openly] today because we want a decision. We want deadlines to be kept. We do not want any indecisive leadership in Harapan.”
Loke said PH had previously proposed for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be the PM candidate with disputed Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir as the former’s deputy — but this was rejected by Parti Warisan Sabah.
This comes as Anwar said earlier today that PH has decided who its next candidate for prime minister is, but it will need to refer to Warisan and Dr Mahathir’s bloc before a final decision is reached.
The pact was supposed to finalise its decision yesterday.
“It is time to put things in perspective. We don’t want our supporters to be in limbo. There needs to be clear direction from the leadership. Everyone is confused with what is happening,” Loke was reported saying.
“DAP is prepared to speak because the deadline passed yesterday. We have a responsibility to inform our supporters, MPs and members about what happened and DAP’s position.”
Malay Mail previously reported sources as saying PH Plus — the moniker of the alliance between PH, Warisan and Dr Mahathir’s faction in Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia — had proposed Anwar as the deputy prime minister under Dr Mahathir, together with another deputy in Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
It is believed that the proposal had two conditions: that Dr Mahathir would only be prime minister for six months, and that Anwar must command the support of Sabah and Sarawak.
Malay Mail also reported that some in the other PH components have also expressed their exasperation against Anwar for allegedly dragging his feet even before the Wednesday meeting ― including by refusing to talk with Dr Mahathir.
“As far as we are concerned, the two options have already been discussed by Harapan, and it is our fallback position to let Mahathir lead and then for Anwar take over after a certain period of time.
“After that decision, we decided that it is now Anwar’s call whether he agrees or not. The deadline was supposed to be yesterday. So far we haven’t heard any decision from Anwar,” Loke was quoted saying.