PKR grassroots and national leaders believe the hard-earned consensus on the candidates for the prime minister and deputy prime minister posts as well as seat negotiations among Pakatan Harapan’s component parties will send a signal to voters that the opposition is a united force.
“We understand each party and individuals have different opinions but, whether they like it or not, the decision has been made by the top leadership.
“As (PKR vice-president) Nurul Izzah (Anwar) read out just now, Anwar (Ibrahim) will accept the consensus with an open heart,” Noor Amin Ahmad from PKR Perlis told The Malaysian Insight.
“Personally, of course, I wanted Anwar (as prime minister) but there are processes before that can happen.”
Noor Amin, who PKR’s candidate for Kuala Perlis in the 2013 general election, said he agreed with Bersatu chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad becoming prime minister and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail being his deputy until Anwar is released and can contest elections.
PKR Petaling Utara division chief Khairul Anuar Ahmad Zainudin said he was happy with Dr Mahathir’s acknowledgement of Anwar’s family’s sacrifice and the roles played by Amanah and DAP to achieve the consensus.
“Today’s convention sends a clear signal that we are a united opposition. I’m happy that the top leaders have set aside their personal opinions and feelings to focus on defeating Barisan Nasional-Umno, restoring the people’s dignity and bringing about systemic and institutional reforms,” he said after Pakatan’s 2018 Convention at the Ideal Convention Centre in Shah Alam today.
He believes today’s consensus will create the momentum needed for Pakatan to overcome obstacles in its path to Putrajaya.
PKR Youth national assistant secretary Syed Badli Shah Syed Osman said he accepted the decisions in good faith, as Pakatan’s overall agenda should triumph individual party agenda.
“What was achieved today is historic. It will pave the way for us to win the election and form a better government than BN that provides better prospects for the people.
“Not everyone will be happy but this is the consensus, and those who agree with the larger agenda (to defeat BN) must now move forward together,” he said.
Just little more than six months ago, PKR Youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad admitted during the PKR Congress that not everyone was happy with Dr Mahathir’s partnership with the opposition.
“We have the opportunity to show Dr Mahathir that a principled negotiation, however complicated, can be carried out before we make a decision together,” he said.
Today, Nik Nazmi said he appreciated Dr Mahathir’s public acknowledgement of the suffering endured by Anwar and his family when he was sacked as deputy prime minister in 1998 and subsequently jailed on corruption and sodomy charges.
PKR’s Saifuddin Abdullah said Dr Mahathir’s acknowledgement of Anwar’s family’s suffering was an important symbolic gesture.
“It is a very important symbolic reconciliation gesture that soothed the hearts of, not just Anwar and his family, but others as well,” he said.
Dr Mahathir thanked Anwar and his family for accepting and allowing him to lead the pact during the next general election at the Pakatan convention today.
“I know how Anwar feels. It was during my administration that he was sent to Sungai Buloh. It is not easy for him to accept me and shake my hand.
“And it’s not just Anwar but his family as well who felt pressure when he was jailed. They suffered for 20 years,” he said.
Nurul Izzah Anwar (left) and other Pakatan leaders and members in the crowd at the convention today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, January 7, 2018.