Report: 'Pakatan Plus' at impasse over Malaysia's PM candidate

A file pic of Malaysia's former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - The touchy subject of the candidate for prime minister is still one topic in which the parties within "Pakatan Plus" have hit an impasse, according to a media report.

Sin Chew reported that Pakatan Harapan's prime minister candidate is PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim but former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has also put himself forward as a candidate.

The daily reported that sources said the Pakatan presidential council has agreed to nominate Anwar as the prime minister.

Dr Mahathir, however, had allegedly proposed to Pakatan in a meeting on Tuesday (June 9) to put forward a "Mahathir-Anwar pairing", whereby Mahathir would be the prime minister and Anwar the deputy prime minister.

The proposal has not gained Pakatan's approval.

"Dr Mahathir suggested that if Pakatan were to regain control of the Federal Government, he should be prime minister for six months and after that, he would hand over the reins to Anwar.

"However, this proposal has not gotten the green light by Pakatan.

"Dr Mahathir's reasoning is to let him show that he really has the sincerity to pass the baton to Anwar.

"Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal expressed support for Dr Mahathir as prime minister," the source said.

The source also said Pakatan had discussed the topic of prime minister in the three-hour-long meeting and had not touched on the topic of deputy prime minister.

It was said that Pakatan would continue discussions on the matter next Tuesday.

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The source also said that although Anwar had said that Pakatan had the support of only 107 members of Parliament, the numbers are "enough".

"Pakatan Harapan and Dr Mahathir are still having negotiations with Gabungan Parti Sarawak," the source said.

Top leaders of "Pakatan Plus" had gathered for a meeting on Tuesday, which was chaired by Anwar.

"Pakatan Plus" is an informal term which refers to the Pakatan Harapan coalition after Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and several PKR leaders left the coalition.

The leaders had later issued a statement saying their meeting had seen "positive development".

The statement was signed by Anwar, Dr Mahathir, Shafie, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu.