Former arch enemies Dr Mahathir, Anwar to lead PH into GE14

Sheridan Mahavera

Bersatu chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in a jovial mood with other PH leaders during a press conference after the PH presidential council meeting at PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, July 14, 2017.

IT’S official. Two former nemesis – Dr Mahathir Mohamad and  Anwar Ibrahim – are teaming up to take down Prime Minister Najib Razak in the 14th general election. 

The decision which was announced just after midnight today ended months of negotiations between the four Opposition parties – DAP, PKR, Bersatu and Amanah – on the leadership structure.

The two, along with Anwar’s wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, will share the responsibility of leading Pakatan Harapan into GE14 against Najib’s Barisan Nasional.

Dr Mahathir, a former prime minster, and Anwar, his one-time deputy, were announced as chairman and de facto leader respectively in PH’s new leadership structure. Wan Azizah was named president.

Dr Mahathir is also Bersatu chairman, Anwar is PKR de facto leader, and Wan Azizah is PKR president.

Dr Mahathir also unveiled the coalition’s new logo and flag at a press conference at the end of a four-hour meeting at PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya.

He also announced that three deputies had been appointed to the PH presidential council, which is the official name of the organisation’s highest decision-making body.

They are Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu.

Also announced were four vice-presidents – PKR deputy president Mohamad Azmin Ali, Bersatu deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir, Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen and Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayob.

PH secretariat chief Saifuddin Abdullah was made secretary-general while DAP vice-chairman M. Kula Segaran was appointed treasurer.

Dr Mahathir, however, refused to say who would be PH’s prime minister-designate but said all efforts would be made to free Anwar who is currently in jail.

“That will be announced soon. We only want to announce the eighth prime minister today,” Dr Mahathir said and indicated that this would be Anwar.

If the coalition wins in GE14, which has to be called by June next year, whoever becomes prime minister will start the process to free Anwar who is serving a five-year jail term for sodomy, said Dr Mahathir.

Anwar and PKR have claimed that the charges were fabricated and are a ploy to keep him away from politics.

“The PM before Anwar will apply for a royal pardon for him. It’s a long process and the prime minister will also have other more pressing matters to attend to.”

Dr Mahathir also announced a slew of policies that will be immediately implemented once PH comes to power.

They are:

* Abolishing the goods and services tax.

* Stabilising petrol prices.

* Focusing on reducing the people’s financial burden.

* Implementing comprehensive institutional reforms.

* Eradicating corruption.

* Forming a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the 1MBD scandal.

* Rehabilitating Felda. – July 14, 2017. 

Dr Mahathir Mohamad and other Pakatan Harapan leaders hold up placards with the PH logo at a press conference after the PH presidential council meeting at PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Najjua Zulkefli, July 14, 2017.

Pakatan Harapan leaders at the meeting last night. – The Malaysian Insight pic, July 14, 2017.

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