ALTHOUGH there has been some resistance within PKR to Dr Mahathir Mohamad being named Pakatan Harapan’s prime minister candidate, the party leaders today urged its members to close ranks and move on.
They said the party must unite behind the Pakatan Harapan coalition and focus on the 14th general election.
“Those are the opinions and individual rights of members,” said PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli on the resistance by some PKR members.
“In a few days, if opinions change, that’s no problem. We are not like BN (Barisan Nasional) where you can’t voice your opinions .
“Those who have different opinions, realise a decision must be made and now we must close ranks. It’s the right of those who are unhappy to air their views.
“However, I don’t see it as a big issue that could affect our election preparations. We should focus on GE14 and move on ,” he told The Malaysian Insight today.
Rafizi was commenting on a statement by PKR information chief Hizwan Ahmad who had the Mohamed Azmin Ali-led Selangor PKR would not endorse the appointment of Dr Mahathir as prime minister candidate.
“With what remains of democracy and freedom of speech, Selangor PKR expresses its frustration and disappointment with the announcement of PH’s candidates for prime minister and deputy prime minister,” Hizwan said yesterday.
Meanwhile, PKR youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahamd said naming Dr Mahathir as the prime minister candidate and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as his deputy proves the determination of PH in removing Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration.
“Let us move forward together. Return to your respective areas to ensure the victory of Pakatan Harapan.
“Armed with the agenda outlined in the PH consensus (Muafakat PH), we have the basic framework to clean up the nation and lift the dignity of the people,” said Nik Nazmi in a statement.
That statement was also signed by Amanah youth chief Mohd Sany Hamzan, Bersatu youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Rahman and DAP youth chief Wong Kah Woh.
The Malaysian Insight attempted to contact Azmin, PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and PKR women’s chief Zuraida Kamaruddin but they declined to comment.
At Sunday’s convention, Zuraida said Dr Mahathir, who chairs Bersatu, should be a senior minister instead of prime minister should the opposition win the government.
The Ampang MP said: “He has a track record as a statesman and he deserves to be a senior minister and not the prime minister.
“On principle, this makes him more eligible to be a senior minister. It’s not because of Reformasi .”
Separately, only “one or two” DAP members are unhappy with the decision, said Lim Guan Eng.
The DAP secretary-general and PH deputy president said members were loyal to the party and respected the pact’s decision, even if they might have differing views.
“At the end of the day, they still give their support. Those who do not are those who have left the party,” he said.