PH chairman not automatically its PM, says Nurul Izzah

Sheridan Mahavera Amin Iskandar

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar says just because jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim declined to be named as the pact’s prime minister candidate doesn’t mean that Dr Mahathir Mohamad is its automatic choice. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, June 28, 2017.

THE Pakatan Harapan chairman is not automatically the coalition’s choice as prime minister, said a senior leader, wading into the controversy, which has delayed the registration of the opposition coalition.

This issue is also confusing supporters of PH as they assume whoever is picked as the chairman is the automatic choice for the prime minister’s position if PH wins the 14th general election, said PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.

“No. This is not the case,” Nurul Izzah told The Malaysian Insight.

“While the chairman may be announced ahead of the 14th general election, the coalition’s PM-designate will only be known after the polls.”

She also stressed that jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s decision not to be named as the pact’s prime minister candidate does not mean that Bersatu chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the automatic choice.

The post of PH chairman is to satisfy a Registrar of Societies requirement for the coalition to be registered as a formal body. This will allow it to use a common logo in the general election.

Who becomes the prime minister would be negotiated and decided among PH component parties should they take over Putrajaya in GE14, said Nurul Izzah, who is also Lembah Pantai MP.

This decision will be based on the number of seats each party controls in Parliament and on the backing of all of PH’s component parties, she said.

Her view on the PM’s post mirrors that of PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

“Chairman and prime minister are two different things. One is the PH structure that is going to be given to ROS,” Nurul Izzah told The Malaysian Insight.

“The other is the leader who will get the majority support and be designated as PM. There is a clear difference.”

She admits that there can be confusion between the two positions among the public.

This is since PH’s rival Barisan Nasional has always had a chairman and deputy chairman who automatically assume the post of prime minister and deputy prime minister.

The fact that the BN has ruled uninterrupted for 60 years has embedded the assumption that it would be the same for PH.

“That’s why we always stress that the public has to move away from the BN model.”

PH’s predecessor, Pakatan Rakyat, never had the post of chairman. The idea for the post only emerged after PR was reconstituted as PH with a new member, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) late last year.

PH consists of Bersatu, which is being led by ex-BN chairman Dr Mahathir, PKR, DAP and Amanah.

In the 2013 general election, PR did not have an official PM-designate as former ally PAS did not agree to Anwar, even though the parliamentary ospposition leader was the face of PR.

The Dr Mahathir factor

Nurul Izzah refused to be drawn into the debate over who she thinks should lead the coalition or who she wants as prime minister.

PH parties are currently wrangling between Dr Mahathir and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Nurul Izzah’s mother.

It is learnt that PH parties are close to agreeing to Dr Mahathir as chairman but this plan has been scuttled by a faction within PKR that does not trust the 92-year-old.

Asked if she would support Dr Mahathir if that is PKR’s choice for PH chairman, Nurul Izzah said: “I want to be a unifier for everyone. If a clear answer will spark more polemics, let me not say it in public. It’s part of the deliberations within PH parties.

“What is clear is we don’t need unnecessary polemics. What is important is that integrity is preserved, reforms are implemented so that Malaysia emerges as a better nation than from what it is.”

She, however, said Anwar’s decision to withdraw himself as a PM-designate does not pave the way for Dr Mahathir to lead PH.

Before Anwar pulled out on June 17, the choice of PM designate was between him, Dr Mahathir, Dr Wan Azizah and Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin.

Following Anwar’s decision, it is learnt that Muhyiddin also pulled out.

“Anwar is a democrat and this is the culture that we have embedded in PH since we were PR.

“At the same time, he doesn’t want his name to be used as a reason where everything is opposed. That is clear.

“But it doesn’t mean that he automatically supports a transfer of power to, for example, an ex-prime minister who will hold sway over everyone.” – June 28, 2017.

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  • Let those with majority seat takes the post.. simple as that..

    Posted 6 years ago by Ali Along · Reply