Fresh from his faux pas at Istana Negara, Anwar Ibrahim could soon be facing pressure from within his party as well, its co-founder says, warning the PKR president against working with Umno leaders embroiled in corruption.
Syed Husin Ali, who was himself a PKR deputy president, said continuing such cooperation would cause dissatisfaction among the majority of party members.
“I, and perhaps many of the party leaders, will not accept collaboration with Umno members who are involved in corruption, especially those who are already convicted,” he said.
His statement comes amid talk that the “strong and formidable” majority which Anwar claims to possess involves former prime minister Najib Razak, whose purported corrupt acts were the rallying point of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) election campaign in 2018.
At that time, PH led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad successfully rode the wave of public discontent over the 1MDB scandal, toppling the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration which had ruled the country uninterrupted since independence.
PKR was formed on Aug 3, 2003 through the collaboration of Syed Husin’s Parti Rakyat Malaysia and Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s Parti Keadilan Nasional.
Syed Husin, who would also serve two terms in the Dewan Negara, said it would be impossible for PKR to work with Umno leaders accused of corruption, much less those who were already convicted.
“I, and perhaps many of the party leaders, will not accept collaboration with Umno members who are involved in corruption, especially those who are already convicted.”
“I believe Anwar himself would not work with those who have been sentenced and are known for their corruption,” the former Universiti Malaya lecturer added.
In July, Najib was found guilty of seven charges related to RM42 million from former 1MDB unit SRC International found in his personal accounts, making him the first ex-prime minister to be convicted of corruption.
He was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined RM210 million for abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.
He is currently appealing against the conviction.
Earlier this month, a highly placed source in PKR told MalaysiaNow that Najib had been instrumental in Anwar’s plan to topple the government through defections in the Dewan Rakyat.
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who faces 47 charges of corruption, has also been seen as supporting the collaboration between Anwar and Najib.
He, along with several other Umno MPs facing similar charges, including Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Abdul Azeez Rahim, Ahmad Maslan and Bung Moktar Radin, are said to be uneasy in the wake of Najib’s conviction.
MalaysiaNow understands that it is these individuals who wish to cooperate with Anwar to overthrow the Perikatan Nasional government, led by Muhyiddin Yassin.
On Tuesday, Anwar had a brief but highly publicised royal audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at which he said he had presented proof of his support in the Dewan Rakyat.
But the palace later said that Anwar had presented no names, only the number of MPs whose support he claimed to have.