PH yet to reach decision on PM candidate

Dr Mahathir or Anwar? – Picture from TodayOnline

By John Isaac

PAKATAN Harapan leaders are still at loggerheads with no decision yet over whether to nominate Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim or Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the prime minister should the coalition return to power.

The leaders of the coalition, comprising PKR, DAP and Amanah, and their allies Parti Warisan Sabah and a few former Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia leaders, were still intensely negotiating whether to allow Dr Mahathir to return as the premier.

Some parties are floating the idea that Dr Mahathir should set a timeline to resign, according to sources who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Sources have also indicated that some quarters within PKR are strongly against the idea of naming Dr Mahathir but were prepared to accept if there was a short timeline in paving the way for Anwar to take over the reins.

According to The Star, Pakatan and its allies were supposed to come to a collective decision yesterday.

The official headcount of Pakatan MPs stood at 107, Anwar said previously, adding that it was based on the numbers presented during a Pakatan meeting last Tuesday.

A source from PKR had also said that it was unrealistic to name Anwar as the deputy prime minister.

“Majority of the party leaders are not keen on this idea, ” he said.

Another source, who is aligned to Dr Mahathir, said whatever the situation, both leaders would need each other’s support.

“Either one cannot go it alone without the support of the other, ” he said.

Anwar’s political aide Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak, when contacted, denied the claims in a news portal report, which stated that Dr Mahathir be allowed to serve as premier until the end of the year with a written agreement to hand over power.

He said the matter was still “under discussions”.

“PKR would not allow our party president to be taken for a ride again, ” he said.

Asked if PKR had an adequate number of MPs supporting Anwar’s bid to be premier, Farhash said: “We will know soon.”

The Perikatan Nasional came to power after the collapse of the Pakatan government in March.

Pakatan is currently in the midst of reorganising itself to face Perikatan in the event of a snap elections.