Top leaders of Pakatan Harapan (PH) today said they are still committed to the leadership of their chairman Anwar Ibrahim, despite growing calls for the coalition to rethink its strategy of nominating the PKR leader as prime minister.
Instead, the coalition, claiming that 105 MPs had backed Anwar for the top post in their letters to the palace last week, said it would extend cooperation with other opposition blocs to work under what it calls the “big tent” approach.
“Mobilisation of the opposition through the ‘big tent’ approach must be given priority over political games by certain parties in their bid to grab power and positions to the detriment of the country,” said a statement issued by Anwar as well as DAP’s Lim Guan Eng and Amanah’s Mohamad Sabu.
PH had urged its MPs to nominate Anwar as prime minister in their statutory declarations sent to Istana Negara last week.
On Friday, the palace said Bera MP Ismail Sabri Yaakob had received the support of 114 MPs.
However, there is dispute over the number of MPs who backed Anwar, with some saying only 92 stated their support for the Port Dickson MP.
Anwar’s failure to muster sufficient numbers has led to growing criticism of PH, with some urging the coalition to look beyond the veteran politician in its quest for power.
In their statement, the top PH leaders said efforts are underway to strengthen the coalition under Anwar’s chairmanship.
“Preparations for the 15th general election will be intensified, including on negotiations for seat allocations, manifesto, leadership and candidates, as well as strategies to get the people’s mandate,” the statement added.
They also said MPs from PH would continue their duty as the opposition in Parliament to give constructive criticism, recommendations and views, in line with the advice of the Agong, to ensure the continued check and balance of the executive.