Monday, March 1, 2021

Anwar questions PH ‘grand coalition’ proposal

The PKR president responds to a suggestion by fellow top leaders in PH to work together with opposition parties beyond the coalition.

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PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim today questioned a proposal by two top Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders to unite opposition blocs under a “grand coalition” that would see cooperation with other parties outside of PH.

“Is it to bring about change for the better, or to defend the state of deception and decadence that is currently in place?” he told reporters after attending a book launch in Shah Alam today.

On Dec 17, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu warned the PH leadership against placing their trust in MPs from the ruling bloc to gain power, in what appeared to be a veiled jibe at Anwar’s recent attempts to get Umno MPs to his side.

The duo also urged PH to build its strength with opposition parties outside of PH, saying it should work towards “uniting our friends among the opposition MPs who stood by us”, a reference to MPs from blocs led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Warisan president Shafie Apdal.

Anwar today warned against using any new proposal for a grand coalition of opposition parties as a ploy to wrest power while “closing our eyes to corruption, wastage and greed by those who are with us”.

He said any proposal, including to unite Malay-based political blocs, should guarantee a better deal for the nation.

Asked if PH would reach out to Mahathir to discuss the plan, Anwar said any such plan should be based on principles.

“Do not bring your personal agenda and continue the past decadence,” he added.

He also said it was irrelevant who leads the government in the event that the opposition comes to power, adding that the person should be committed to reforms.

“It doesn’t matter (if it’s) Anwar, or whoever from whichever party. (He) must commit to undertake reforms, good governance, combat corruption and not protect your family and your cronies or enrich them in the name of change and the people’s mandate.

“You must be clear in your agenda to combat excesses, including corruption.”

On Dec 15, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional government scored a narrow victory with 111 votes against 108 for the final reading of the 2021 budget.

The vote was keenly followed as it would have shown whether Muhyiddin still had the confidence of the majority of MPs to remain in power.

It came on the back of several statements by Anwar and his supporters that he had the majority to form the government.

In October, MalaysiaNow revealed that Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and former prime minister Najib Razak had written to the palace expressing support for the opposition leader.

Najib had also openly called on Barisan Nasional MPs to consider backing Anwar.

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