KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 26 — Parti Amanah Negara has called on the Opposition to form a grand coalition to oust Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the 15th general election (GE15).
During this year’s convention policy speech, party president Mohamad Sabu recalled that part of the reason why Pakatan Harapan (PH) won the general election in 2018 was due to the leadership and partnership of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He said this created a strong coalition which in turn inspired confidence among Malaysians to vote out Barisan Nasional (BN) which had been in power since Merdeka.
Mohamad, who is also popularly known as Mat Sabu, said it is imperative for the Opposition to remain united and for Amanah to act as a bridge between the various parties as they prepare for GE15.
“Moving forward, I am of the view that it is important for Amanah to continue playing a role in strengthening Pakatan Harapan.
“It is even more important to build on Pakatan Harapan’s cooperation with other parties as well as all Opposition parties for a great reset before forming another grand coalition again (for GE15).
“Once again, I emphasise that I am ready to be a bridge to close the divide. Even if I am used as a stepping stone, for the sake of the people and this beloved country, I will do as we have done before, and that is, earnestly and with full commitment,” he told Amanah delegates during the party’s annual convention in Bukit Katil, Melaka.
The convention was also live streamed in accordance with Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP).
Mohamad’s call to unite comes amid reports that Dr Mahathir and Anwar are no longer on speaking terms after falling out in June over who should lead the Opposition.
Several coalition sources confirmed to Malay Mail that that there have been no “meaningful” cooperation or official bloc meetings involving the PKR president, the Parti Pejuang Tanah Air chairman and the Parti Warisan Sabah president, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal for several months.
News portal The Vibes also reported PH secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail as saying the former prime minister made it abundantly clear that he wants nothing to do with the coalition anymore.
Mohamad in his speech also touched on how this has affected PH presidential council meetings.
Without going into specifics, Mohamad said in the past, the meetings attended by the coalition’s top leaders were a hallmark of transparency and partnership built upon mutual trust.
“It is widely acknowledged that this practice and tradition have been slightly affected of late.
“Without offering too much detail, it is enough to emphasise that PH must be committed to overcoming any issues on leadership, policies and programmes through deliberation and consensus boldly and openly, at the Pakatan Harapan presidential council level,” he said.
However, Mohamad remained adamant that the PN government under Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is weak due to its apparently troubled partnership with Umno.
He offered as proof Umno’s purported engineered ousting of Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu as Perak mentri besar as well as the recent ‘attack’ by Umno veteran Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in Parliament.
“Now the country is gripped by uncertainty and instability as it is difficult to determine the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the government. All no-confidence motions were rejected,” he added.
“Muhyiddin’s position is under constant threat and attack by not only his detractors, but also his new friends (PN). This ‘PM under siege’ or ‘PM under attack’ phenomenon continues unabated, making him vulnerable to acts of intimidation, and therefore, unable to stabilise the country,” he said.
During a press conference later, Mohamad said that Amanah, along with PH, will continue the fight to regain the people’s mandate after it was lost in February following the “Sheraton Move”.
“Our bid to take over the government continues. It will continue if we get enough support (from MPs), and of course, through the process of seeking an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. As PH, we will continue to meet. It is normal to have different views, but PH will continue to build its strength for GE15,” he said.
Anwar claimed on September 23 that he commanded a “strong, formidable and convincing numbers”, saying that Muhyiddin’s PN government had lost the majority in the Dewan Rakyat.
However, on December 17, after failing to get the majority to challenge the Budget 2021, Mohamad and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng called for a “political reset” within the coalition to focus on building a more united opposition under the PH Plus banner and fight in unison during the next general election.
In the joint statement, the two urged PH leaders to set aside differences so that it can evolve into PH Plus with a formidable force of 108 MPs.