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Drama from Pakatan is getting boring

Pakatan Harapan is amazingly creative in creating job titles. Chairman, President and “Ketua Umum” have been floated as potential titles for their top posts, all aimed at ensuring one person is above everybody else without putting any of their big shots be below the President.

The person is Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Despite being in prison, his letters and whispers still dictate how Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) decides.

I cannot imagine how they will run a country. Every time a difficult question comes up in a Cabinet meeting, would they call for a coffee break while waiting for the postman to arrive?

They don’t seem to realise that, being in prison, Anwar’s own thought process would be easily influenced by what is conveyed to him and how the person visiting him explains it to him. The letters that he writes cannot possibly be based on a holistic consideration of all options and consequences.

Anwar’s camp in PKR say that if they win, they will ensure Anwar gets a Royal pardon so that he becomes Prime Minister. This is an extraordinary suggestion because the power to pardon belongs to our Rulers. No politician in their rightful mind would ever assume they can muscle over our Rulers, giving instructions just like that.

Luckily over the weekend Anwar declared he is not offering himself to be Prime Minister candidate anymore. This is a welcome development because even those who do not support Pakatan are growing tired of their drama.

The stumbling block in Pakatan is PKR, because they are severely divided about Anwar’s future role, and Anwar’s camp in PKR feels insecure. However, Anwar’s latest announcement should allow PKR to move on.

Anwar’s camp in PKR must take the announcement as a call to stop naming him as the potential Prime Minister. Although Anwar was vague when saying he is “not offering” himself, they should not persuade him to change his mind, nor plan for an interim Prime Minister who will pass the seat to Anwar later. This should be made a definitive closure. Otherwise, that statement was nothing but a deception.

I also urge Tun Mahathir Mohamad to follow suit. But he should do more than Anwar. He should declare that he too is not interested in becoming Prime Minister again, and he will also not contest in GE14. That would assuage Anwar’s camp and other critics in Pakatan.

Pakatan must actively consider naming someone from their younger generation for Prime Minister position. Wan Azizah has said she does not feel she is the best person for the post. She is right. She is not. There are others who could do the job better. She should recuse herself too, and this will avoid allegations that Anwar is Prime Minister candidate by proxy.

Instead Pakatan should name someone younger. This could be a gamechanger because others will immediately be under pressure to consider a different new line up too. But the person should be from PKR, because Anwar’s camp will never accept PKR losing the Prime Minister candidacy.

I have never had the chance to talk to Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali personally, so my judgement may well be wrong here. But looking from afar, he is the most obvious candidate from PKR. Despite all the ruckus between PAS and all the Pakatan parties, he has proven that he can hold the coalition together in Selangor. Considering all the odds, this is no easy feat. Even Mahathir and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin could not persuade PAS to remain in Pakatan. And he also is also one of the very few with administrative experience.

Adding names likes Dato Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Nurul Izzah Anwar, and Salahuddin Ayob to the top line up would make the election even more exciting.

Wan Saiful

Wan Saiful is Chief Executive of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, Director of the Southeast Asia Network for Development and Chairman of the Istanbul Network for Liberty.

2017-06-19T03:33:59+00:00 20th June 2017|Opinion, Government & business|Comments Off on Drama from Pakatan is getting boring