PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan will now focus on building on the support of the 105 MPs who chose to back the PKR president Anwar Ibrahim for the post of prime minister, according to an opposition leader.
Amanah communications director Khalid Samad said it was no small feat to get all 105 opposition MPs to back Anwar, adding that he believed they had the other side worried.
“We now want to make sure we can build on that and have a united front in place when we face GE15,” he told online news portal FMT.
“On social media, there are some people spreading rumours that Anwar got only 92 votes, that Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Warisan didn’t support him. This is obviously rubbish.”
Penang deputy chief minister P Ramasamy agreed with Khalid, saying PH must move on from the failed attempt at forming the government and build on its strengths.
The DAP leader said PH’s failure to take Putrajaya after Muhyiddin Yassin lost his majority support was “not a big deal” and that a clean win through a general election would be much better.
“I think it’s a formidable opposition. PH should look ahead. In no way do I think we should join hands with the kleptocrats. Anwar must give crucial leadership and stop talking to Umno.
“Meanwhile, PH has to come up with clear-cut statements and ideas as well as measures that can be introduced to garner support from the population across the board.
“To me, in a multiracial and multireligious nation, PH is the best alternative despite its weaknesses, despite the mistakes we have made,” he said.
Khalid and Ramasamy were responding to political scientist Wong Chin Huat’s contention that PH failed to present itself as a government-in-waiting despite having many policy-minded MPs.
Wong said PH-controlled states could have shown they could manage the pandemic better and this was particularly true of Selangor, which had the resources to do so.
He also said legitimate demands by civil society and critics for PH to form a shadow cabinet were dismissed with various excuses.
But Khalid said a shadow cabinet would not have any official standing and recognition from government agencies and this would make it difficult for PH states to get the information they needed to formulate policies.
“If we talk without the necessary information, we may find ourselves in a very embarrassing situation.
“Even the Selangor government, with its Selangor Covid-19 Task Force, became frustrated because it could not get the necessary data from the health ministry.
“If a state government cannot even get the necessary information to plot a proper strategy and policy, what more a shadow cabinet that’s not recognised by anyone?” he said.-FMT