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KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 ― PKR is expected to put its resources into facing a snap election rather than support a no-confidence vote in Parliament, sources have divulged amid an impasse over Pakatan Harapan (PH) and its allies’ choice of prime minister candidate.
Sources inside the party told Malay Mail that the party remains adamant in backing president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to lead the pact rather than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and has even instructed members to start preparations to defend their federal and state seats.
“We have to defend our seats. We are the biggest party in PH. The top leadership reminded us that PH won using our symbol and flag.
“We contested the most and won the most out of all PH parties,” said one source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
PKR had won 47 out of the 71 seats it contested in the 14th general election. The party increased its seats to 51 after the election, but the February political turmoil and exodus caused its seats to reduce to 38.
With 42 seats, DAP has the largest share of federal seats in PH.
Another source from the party also confirmed that the party will remain “focused, consistent, and solid” in working with its partners DAP and Parti Amanah Negara, but under the leadership of Anwar.
“We will still work with PH under [Anwar’s] leadership. We want to ensure the ‘Reformasi’ agenda will be fulfilled for the people of Malaysia.
“We are focused, consistent, and solid under the leadership of [Anwar],” the source said, referring to PKR’s support for Anwar to be the Opposition’s PM candidate.
PH and its allies in Dr Mahathir’s faction in Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and Parti Warisan Sabah remain deadlocked over its choice for PM after DAP and Amanah failed to convince Anwar to agree to a proposal for the PKR president to be deputy prime minister for six months.
After almost a week of stalled discussions, Dr Mahathir was quoted by Sin Chew Daily yesterday as saying that he will no longer seek to work with Anwar, although he would continue to work with DAP and Amanah to return their alliance to power.
Dr Mahathir confirmed that he would still be bringing a motion for a vote of no confidence in Muhyiddin as the prime minister when the Dewan Rakyat reconvenes next month.
If denied the chance to bring the vote of no-confidence in Parliament, Dr Mahathir reportedly said he intends to have the PN government’s Budget tabling in Parliament fail.
“We will see in the future. But for now we don’t want to get to power from a no-confidence motion in parliament,” said the party insider, referring to PH isolating itself from PKR.
Asked on the possibility that PKR may leave PH to face the next election alone, the source said PH will still be the best bet for the country to undergo institutional reform as promised by its 2018 election manifesto.
He said compared to Dr Mahathir, Anwar has more political will to ensure the reform agenda will be implemented.
“Anwar has always been consistent in fighting for the reform agenda. He did not have anyone to please.
“With Anwar at the helm, people will definitely be more open towards changing the government,” said source.
Earlier this week, DAP and Amanah sought to convince Anwar and his party to accept the deal by saying the agreed transition and timeline would be formalised in a written agreement.
Anwar’s reluctance may stem from Dr Mahathir’s previous term as the prime minister, when the latter repeatedly delayed his promise to relinquish the post to his former deputy by simply insisting he would honour the pledge eventually.
Dr Mahathir resigned as the prime minister in February to trigger the collapse of the PH administration, which then allowed Perikatan Nasional to seize control of the federal government unelected.
Since then, however, he has mounted a campaign to be reappointed in the position.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is also rumoured to be considering an early general election both to secure his personal mandate and to dispel views that his administration was a “backdoor” government.