AFTER two months of disagreements and deliberation, coalition partners in Pakatan Harapan (PH) are expected to come to a consensus on its leadership line-up, naming Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar Ibrahim and Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the top three people who will lead the battle against Barisan Nasional at the next elections.
The coalition will be holding its presidential council meeting in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, later today, where it is understood it will finally formalise the leadership line-up as well as organisational structure.
The Malaysian Insight has been informed that the majority of the parties in PH – which groups PKR, Amanah, Bersatu and DAP – have agreed to Anwar’s appointment as de facto leader, or adviser, while Dr Mahathir will be the coalition’s chairman and Dr Wan Azizah its president.
“In the meeting, this line-up will be made official,” said a PH source who declined to be named.
“The only thing that still needs to be debated is the structure but I believe this will definitely be resolved in the coming meeting.”
The source said the new structure is reminiscent of the era when Dr Mahathir and Anwar led the government as prime minister and deputy almost 20 years ago.
“Look at how they are responding when the media reported that Dr Mahathir said he has no problem with Anwar becoming prime minister,” said the source.
Another PH source said the one position that remains undecided is that of vice-president.
He said that the vice-president’s position is meant for the heads of the coalition’s member parties, such as Amanah’s Mohamad Sabu, DAP’s Lim Guan Eng and Bersatu’s Muhyiddin Yassin.
“But there are some who want PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali to be included into the list of vice-presidents.
“They say that Azmin’ position as Selangor menteri besar can benefit PH. This will be decided today,” said the source.
In the new structure, the presidential council members will be made up of the adviser, president, vice-presidents, secretary, treasurer and representatives from PKR, DAP, Amanah and Bersatu.
PH needs to submit its leadership line-up and logo to the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to be a registered coalition.
“All I can say is, all of the top leaders of PH will fill the important positions in the presidential council. For other details, wait for today’s announcement,” deputy president of Amanah Salahuddin Ayub told The Malaysian Insight.
London and open houses
The announcement of PH’s leadership line-up has been delayed for two months because of disagreements between its member parties. Its inability to resolve the issue has caused opposition supporters and civil society leaders to express their disappointment with the coalition.
Today’s expected resolution of the leadership dispute is believed to have been reached following a meeting between PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar and Dr Mahathir in London recently, as well as several unofficial meetings between PH leaders during Hari Raya open houses, as well as at the Kuala Lumpur High Court during Anwar’s recent hearing.
Anwar has been in court since Monday for the hearing of his defamation suit against TV3, which he is suing for airing a report in 2013 linking him to the Lahad Datu intrusion by Filipino militants.
During his hearing, PH leaders like Lim Kit Siang, Mohamad Sabu, Azmin, Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Nurul Izzah, Chua Tian Chang, Rafizi Ramli, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Liew Chin Tong and others were present.
On Tuesday, Azmin was seen spending more than two hours in court waiting to meet Anwar and other PH leaders.
Bersatu chief of policy and strategy bureau Dr Rais Hussin said unofficial talks between the PH leaders have been going well so far.
“We believe that a decision can be made in the name of saving our country, as we offer an alternative that is credible and a strong structure, on top of putting in the hard work after it has been announced,” he said.
DAP political education director Liew said the PH presidential council will reach a consensus today and it will mark a step forward for the opposition coalition.
“This reunification of Dr Mahathir and Anwar to fight Najib is something that was hard to imagine before, but is happening now,” said the Kluang MP.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT