Pakatan Harapan (PH) leader Anwar Ibrahim has indicated that talks with Bersatu may still be possible despite objections from fellow PH leaders who say that any discussions for a so-called “big tent” approach to the general election should not take into consideration parties from Barisan Nasional (BN) or Perikatan Nasional (PN).
Speaking in an interview with Malaysiakini, the PKR president said that as political leaders, it would not be right to stop people from negotiating.
“For example, if the prime minister asked to meet tomorrow, I would reschedule my appointments and make time to see him although politically, we are enemies,” he told the portal.
“But that does not mean we are making peace, it just means that we are working together for the rakyat, for the country.”
Yesterday, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu said the “big tent” approach should not include alliances or cooperation with parties in the government, whether Umno, Bersatu or PAS.
“There is no way that PH will work with traitors who have clearly betrayed the trust and mandate of the people,” he said.
Describing these “traitors” as those who had jumped ship to Bersatu and PN, he said it would however be “irrational” to similarly label other parties such as Pejuang, Warisan and Muda “because of the betrayals of Mahiaddin and Bersatu”.
DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng meanwhile said at the party’s national congress last month that there could be no cooperation with those who had betrayed the party and its struggle.
“If we are stabbed in the back once, shame on them,” he said. “If we allow them to stab us in the back a second time, shame on us.”
In his interview, however, Anwar spoke of the importance of being “ready to discuss”.
“If it is for the good, I believe that as prominent leaders we must be ready to avoid being seen as a leader who is confined by narrow-minded partisan politics, but instead as someone who has strong principles but is ready to discuss,” he said.