Some political leaders have a bunch of disparate reasons for doing or saying things their own way in varied situations.

At times, I believe they were right to do so as certain situations warrant even peculiar responses. Experienced and thinking leaders will always have ready plans, even if it means twisting and turning words, to handle any sticky situation.

However, there were also times when they fell into a distorted vision of their real intention in disseminating public information – and fumbled badly.

One latest example of such a disorientation displayed by key political leaders was the joint DAP-Amanah statement on the Anwar Ibrahim-Mohd Shafie Apdal saga over the candidacy for prime minister.

“The way forward is to allow Anwar the first opportunity to form a government and if he fails, then Shafie should be afforded a similar choice, both based on the solid support of 109 MPs,” read their first paragraph.

Then, they stressed the importance of maintaining the solidarity of the opposition forces, without which it would be impossible to reclaim Putrajaya.

Then it went on, blah, blah, blah about what transpired during Pakatan Harapan meetings from February up to June this year – the details of which were nothing new. In fact, I found reading the long statement quite a chore.

Mat Sabu and Lim in a discussion.

Before I state my case on the DAP-Amanah message, let me say kudos to Lim and Mat Sabu for their mediation efforts between PKR and Parti Warisan Sabah/Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s group on the other side. We can clearly see what an arduous and thankless task that must have been.

On the first paragraph alone, I do not see the wisdom or rationale in announcing their declared intention publicly.

To me, nothing substantial has been achieved. It is still a stalemate. Both Anwar and Shafie still desire to be prime minister and they want to be Harapan’s standard-bearer.

Pakatan Harapan Plus leaders still at loggerheads

My question: Anwar is the first choice for PM – that’s the suggested deal. Assuming Anwar fails to get enough MPs to support him as PM, how on earth is Shafie going to succeed?

If Warisan and Mahathir’s Bersatu rebels are not going to support Anwar, does anyone think PKR parliamentarians will back Shafie in return?

Let’s say that Mahathir and Shafie (above) are able to garner some Perikatan Nasional MPs to cross over. But they are only prepared to do so if Shafie is PM candidate. They will not do so for Anwar.

If this is the scenario, what is this so-called Pakatan Harapan Plus coalition all about? Isn’t it just hogwash – leaders are still at loggerheads, with no sign of any genuine intention to work together?

As long as these clashes of personalities persist, it, the post of prime minister, will still remain a merry-go-round. This is why Malaysians who backed Harapan in GE14 are so disillusioned and getting more restless by the day.

First, it was the Mahathir-Anwar saga for the PM’s post, now it’s between Anwar and Shafie. Who will be next? Anwar-Mukhriz Mahathir episode on the way?

How would I deal with this matter? I will first ensure that both Anwar and Shafie have consented to work together and agree to support each other with the backing of Mahathir and his group, come what may.

When that tacit understanding and support has been secured from all, only then is it considered a breakthrough. This will boost people’s confidence in Harapan.

What Lim and Mat Sabu were talking about was only their declared intention or proposal – nothing has been finalised or achieved.

Such an intention could easily be conveyed to PKR, Warisan and Mahathir for internal discussion at Harapan meetings or informal gatherings among themselves.

Why do they have to communicate via press statements? Do they not talk anymore?

Not expectedly, the July 27 statement has ruffled some feathers in PKR.

The party’s Kapar MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid reminded one and all that the question of who should become prime minister was guided by the people’s mandate given to Harapan in GE14.

“We follow the mandate: after Mahathir, it is Anwar Ibrahim (above),” Abdullah Sani stressed.

As for Shafie, it appears that he has a bigger problem to resolve at home. His Sabah administration is under serious threat.

Seriously, if I were Shafie, I would forget about the PM’s post for now and concentrate on handling the looming political crisis in his home state. A snap state election appears on the horizon.

As for Lim and Mat Sabu, if you have nothing of substance or no good news for Harapan supporters, please stop wasting your time issuing recycled stuff.

Continue with your mediation efforts. Harapan supporters are anxiously waiting to hear of a breakthrough.