PAKATAN Harapan has no “plan B” and must name its candidate for prime minister ahead of the 14th general election, Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin said.
In an exclusive interview with The Malaysian Insight ahead of the party’s inaugural AGM tomorrow, the former deputy prime minister said it is a crucial issue that should not be taken lightly as voters want to know who would lead the government if PH wins GE14.
“People have asked who would be the prime minister or the deputy prime minister. And we cannot bury the people’s voice, or ignore it. For me what’s important is not the party, what’s important is what the people want.
“For me and Bersatu, however difficult it is, PH has to decide on who would be prime minister. We must decide who would be the prime minister and if possible the deputy prime minister, too. And it should be announced before GE14,” he said at his office in Damansara.
PH has been dithering naming its candidate for prime minister after it was first proposed on December 3.
The Malaysian Insight reported that PH chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad was proposed as the interim prime minister and PH president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as deputy prime minister during a two-day retreat at the Perdana Leadership Foundation.
All PH parties, except for PKR, agreed with the proposal.
Yesterday, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar denied her party was opposedto Dr Mahathir becoming the interim prime minister but stressed that the party was more focused on winning GE14.
She also said the matter is still being discussed among party leaders.
“As far as I know, we have not even confirmed that any suggestion (for the prime minister candidate) had been made,” she told The Malaysian Insight.
For Muhyiddin, the issue was important as voters would want to know who will replace Prime Minister Najib Razak.
He also denied that Bersatu is pushing the agenda as the candidate is coming from his party.
“It doesn’t matter who we finally decide on but it’s something that voters would want to know. Everywhere I have gone and through the feedback from the ground, we know voters want to know what they are getting into,” said the PH deputy president.
When asked if there is a contingency plan if PH cannot agree prior to GE14, Muhyiddin said there is none.
“There is no plan B, only plan A. And that is to announce a candidate before GE14.”
On PKR being the obstacle on naming the candidate, Muhyiddin said each party has its own way of weighing options and that process must be respected.
“Like Bersatu, we are very clear and open about it. There are parties that may have different processes. But that’s okay.
“To me, ample time should be given for them to consider the options but it should not be delayed.
“I’m confident it will be resolved before GE14 because the leaders in PH know it’s not the time to play around and we don’t want to fool the people. This is serious for voters on who will lead the country after the elections.”
PKR has reportedly agreed with Dr Mahathir as interim prime minister, but on three conditions, if the opposition pact wins the election.
The first is the release of PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim from jail as soon as PH forms the government and for him to be appointed as prime minister within six months to a year.
The second is for PKR to be given the biggest share of parliamentary seats of at least 60 among the other PH parties, while the third is for Dr Mahathir to agree to institutional reforms.