WHEN former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrived at the open house of Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar yesterday, it was the first time most attendants at the event have witnessed the coming together of the once-warring political leaders.
But the impact of seeing Nurul Izzah warmly welcome Dr Mahathir – the man who is arguably responsible for the political downfall and imprisonment of her father, Anwar Ibrahim – and his wife Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali was not lost on a crowd filled with optimism for change in the next elections.
Pakatan Harapan (PH) announced last week its leadership line-up, which sees Dr Mahathir, Anwar and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail leading the opposition coalition.
“I am confident that with the racial cooperation in Malaysia, we can bring the government down,” Dr Mahathir said to loud cheers by those present at the event.
The Bersatu chairman said PH leaders are not in the coalition for fame or rank but were focused on the people.
“Our focus is on saving the country after it has been destroyed by (prime minister) Najib Razak.
“As long as he stays, the condition of the country will not improve,” he said to the eager crowd of almost 1,000.
“We should not give power to a kleptocrat who has stolen a huge amount of (the people’s) money,” he told The Malaysian Insight just before leaving with Siti Hasmah.
‘BRILLIANT’ LINE UP
The reaction from the crowd was one filled with optimism for the opposition’s future, with many expressing their amazement at the fact that two former enemies could now share the same platform with such warmth.
“The fact that Wan Azizah accepted the guy who put her husband to jail shows that the issues they had are settled,” said retiree Santokh Gill, who frequently attends events organised by Nurul Izzah.
Santokh said if the former enemies could put aside their differences, the voters should come together and support the coalition, adding that the newly announced PH line-up was “brilliant”.
Real estate agent Daniel Teoh said the only way Malaysia could be saved was if it had leaders able to put aside their differences to devote themselves to the concerns of the people.
“The economy is getting bad because of the GST.
“The ringgit has depreciated so much and the world has no confidence in Malaysia, ” he told The Malaysian Insight.
The open house was co-hosted by PKR communications director and Lembah Pantai Youth chief Fahmi Fazil. Also present were Wan Azizah, PKR vice-president Tian Chua, Selangor exco Elizabeth Wong and former Umno leader Khairuddin Abu Hassan.
In her speech, Nurul Izzah urged Malaysians to come out in full force to vote in the next general election, adding that she was concerned with the large number of unregistered voters amounting to four million.
She said the fate and future of the country lies in the hands of voters, not politicians.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT