By John Isaac
THE Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting touched on PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s plan to take over the federal government but not much detail was divulged during the gathering, according to DAP organising secretary Anthony Loke.
PKR, DAP and Amanah top leaders recently gathered at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya, the first presidential council meeting after Anwar claimed in a press conference on Sept 23 that he had secured a majority in the Dewan Rakyat to form the new government and replace Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister.
Expectations were high that the Harapan leadership would give some indication on Anwar’s plan but no details were disclosed after the meeting other than the matter was “discussed”.
According to Malaysiakini, Loke, when contacted, also did not have much to offer. “No progress, that’s all,” he said.
Anwar’s opponents have dismissed his claim as another episode from 2008 when he made a similar claim but nothing materialised.
Anwar’s allies, too, do not appear to be brimming with confidence.
Loke, when asked if DAP was confident in Anwar’s latest attempt, merely said it was up to the opposition leader to prove it.
“There is no need to say whether there is confidence or not. It is up to him to prove it.
“I don’t know. You have to ask him,” said the Seremban MP.
Since the meeting, there has been speculation over what was discussed. For example, Chinese newspaper Sin Chew Daily, citing sources, claimed Anwar revealed in the meeting that he had the support of more than 120 MPs.
When asked about this, Loke dismissed the speculation.
“I don’t know where (the media) heard it. Maybe their reporter was in the meeting,” said Loke, who was present at the Harapan presidential council talks.
When asked for his own take of the meeting, Loke said there wasn’t much discussion on the issue.
“We didn’t go into the details during the discussion,” he added.
DAP previously expressed its ambivalence about the plan as Anwar’s takeover bid will involve Umno MPs.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng had said it won’t work with Umno leaders such as its president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and former president Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, who are facing corruption charges.
Najib was already found guilty for some of the charges against him. On July 28, he was sentenced to 12 years in jail and fined RM210 million. He is presently out on bail pending appeal.
Malaysiakini understood that Lim did not attend the Harapan presidential council meeting as he is under quarantine as a precaution against Covid-19 after returning from Sabah where he had campaigned in the state election.
Asked if DAP raised its reservations then, Loke said it was still too early as Harapan allies do not know yet who exactly are the MPs involved.
“We don’t know who is supporting Anwar,” he added.
Anwar had declared that he had secured a “strong, formidable and convincing” majority.
However, he declined to disclose how many MPs are supporting him as he wanted to present them to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong first.
The Agong was admitted to the National Heart Institute since Monday due to food poisoning, followed by treatment for a sports injury and is not available for an audience yet.
The palace had indicated that the king will be discharged soon.
Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional government has a fragile majority in the Dewan Rakyat, controlling only 113 out of 222 seats. The defection of two MPs is enough to cost Muhyiddin his majority.
However, the opposition is also split. At present, Harapan has 91 MPs in the Dewan Rakyat and need 21 more for a simple majority.
The yet-to-be-registered Pejuang, which has five MPs and is led by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, has indicated that they won’t support Anwar.
Warisan and Upko, which have 10 MPs, have so far supported Dr Mahathir in the third bloc but could realign following their defeat in the Sabah election last Saturday.