KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — Any decision to accept new partners into Pakatan Harapan (PH) for the upcoming 15th general election must be carefully deliberated to avoid a repeat of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia's treachery, the coalition chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.
Anwar attributed his coalition's wariness to the “Sheraton Move” when Bersatu exited PH in early 2020 to team up with Barisan Nasional, PAS and Gabungan Parti Sarawak to take Putrajaya.
"Because the experience in the past with Bersatu was tough, they reneged all the commitments on issues of multi-racial agenda, to get rid of corruption, and of course, for PKR we cannot be absolved from these excesses because many of our leaders were involved in this treachery," Anwar said in an interview with Malaysiakini published today.
The federal Opposition leader disclosed that PH has received letters from Parti Sosialis Malaysia and Malaysian United Democratic Alliance, both expressing interest in working together.
"I think we can continue to engage, since these parties' policies are quite close to Harapan.
"But I will leave it to the presidential council, and later on to have the committee deliberate in detail," Anwar told the news portal.
He also confirmed that PH is looking into a new logo design.
Anwar also said in the interview that PH had ironed out some electoral kinks during its recent retreat with senior leaders, accepting views from the younger generation of members.
"Naturally, there will be differences. But I honestly don't feel there is a substantive difference. None. Even seat negotiations, it’s much easier now.
"Because we have quarrelled for a long time since 1999," he was quoted as saying, referring to the time when his party then known as Parti Keadilan Nasional made its electoral debut as part of the Opposition bloc then called Barisan Alternatif with the older DAP and PAS.
Anwar was also asked about the predictions of political analysts about post-election coalitions but demurred, saying that PH’s focus now is to win seats in GE15.
However, he pointed out that the analysts were only right sometimes “but many times they were wrong”, citing Election 2013 as an example of when the federal Opposition bloc then known as Pakatan Rakyat won the popular vote though the so-called experts had written off its chances beforehand.
"If I were to be guided only by the so-called analysts and the surveys, we would have given up a long time ago," Anwar was quoted as saying.