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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — Parti Amanah Negara’s strategic director Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said Pakatan Harapan (PH) is ready to offer Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad the role of “mentor minister” or “senior minister” if he still wishes to collaborate with the coalition in the next polls.
The Malaysian Insight reported the former minister saying that the pact is however set to support its chief and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the sole prime minister candidate.
“This could be PH’s win-win formula for the 15th general election. As it is, PH is very clear that its prime ministerial candidate for GE15 will be Anwar Ibrahim,” he was quoted as saying.
“The idea that Dr Mahathir could be a temporary prime minister does not arise anymore. Although he can play a role if he wants if we win,” he added.
The term “mentor minister” and “senior minister” were popularised after Singapore’s former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew stayed on as part of the government following the end of his term.
Lee had been “senior minister” under Goh Chok Tong between 1990 and 2004, and a “minister mentor” under Lee Hsien Loong between 2004 and 2011.
Currently, the term “senior minister” is being used in Putrajaya to refer to the four ministers that would deputise for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, after he decided to not name a single deputy prime minister.
In the report, Dzulkefly who was commenting on the tussle for leadership between Dr Mahathir and Anwar, said PH must move on from the victory of the last general election.
This time around, Dzulkefly stated that PH can only win if there is a “grand alignment” ― which would mean that all the Opposition parties have the same understanding before any talk of a “grand coalition”.
“Pakatan and the other Opposition parties such as Warisan, Pejuang and Muda must have the same goals.
“Merely relying on our opponents’ weaknesses is not enough. Our strategy must be based on our strengths, and we cannot take it for granted that Perikatan Nasional, Barisan Nasiona or Muafakat Nasional will break up before GE15,” he said.
Dr Mahathir along with four other former Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia MPs jad formed a new party called Parti Pejuang Tanah Air last year after resigning from PM post following the “Sheraton Move” that led to the coup of the government one year ago.
However one of them — former Bersatu Youth Chief and Muar MP Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman — then formed Malaysia United Democratic Alliance (Muda), which focuses on youths.
Another MP from Simpang Renggam, Maszlee Malik also announced he will not be joining Pejuang, but wanted to remain independent.
Both parties’ applications were rejected by the Registrar of Society earlier this month.
Even with the two new parties, Dzulkefly is adamant that PH still has its strengths to offer Malaysians.
“We are bound by a vision to see a more inclusive Malaysia, where there is no ‘ketuanan’ or narrow race discrimination issues,” he said, using the word that refers to the concept of Malay supremacy.
“Pakatan has the same goals, and a clarity of purpose and vision, unlike its counterparts.”