By John Isaac
PAKATAN Harapan leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has expressed willingness to work with “anyone” – including former nemesis Tun Dr Mahathir Mahathir – for as long as the coalition’s principles are honoured.
A second condition is that collaborators must not bring forth “personal agendas”.
“I leave this (decision) to Harapan. They can invite anyone but they must abide by principles.
“They can’t bring along personal agendas or continue with the destruction of the past,” Anwar said as reported by Malaysiakini.
Earlier, the PKR president had launched a book entitled “100 Art and Literature Essays from the Reformasi Era 2008-2011”.
Anwar had been making the claims, since Sept 23, that he garnered enough support to oust the Perikatan Nasional government. When Budget 2021 was voted on over the past six weeks, the opposition was only able to raise 108 votes at the very maximum.
Following this, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng issued a joint statement stating that the focus for the opposition should be on uniting the parties represented by the 108 MPs.
The Harapan coalition – comprising PKR, DAP and Amanah – does not appear to enjoy a good relationship with Muda, Pejuang, Parti Sarawak Bersatu and Warisan, which collectively have 16 MPs.
Amanah and DAP figures have recently been nudging PKR towards forging ties with the other opposition parties, even if it means Anwar having to reconcile with his on-and-off rows with Mahathir.
PKR information chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin opined that Harapan should keep its promise in naming Anwar as the prime minister candidate in order to realise the proposal on setting up a grand coalition.
Meanwhile, Pejuang was reported to be open to the proposal, but the party stressed that it would not cooperate with anyone from the kleptocrat group.
Asked if he would want to have Mahathir return to lead the country, Anwar said: “To me, the question is not relevant… Anyone, regardless of which party he or she comes from, should have a strong will to push for reforms and good governance.
“There must be a commitment to combat corruption, instead of protecting cronies. (The leader) should be committed to fighting and helping to end the sufferings of the poor in the rural and marginalised communities.”
‘Muslims should not forgive’
Meanwhile, Anwar said Malaysians and Muslims should not forgive the parties involved in the halal meat cartel scandal, which he described as “perbuatan celaka” (wretched act).
“This is a halal issue, it is not an agriculture issue. The halal stamp is issued by the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), thus it should be responsible (to take action),” he said.