PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan's bickering over the prime minister nomination instead of uniting the opposition coalition will only cause the opposition's downfall in the next general election, a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Pribumi) strategist said on Sunday.
Pointing his finger at Pakatan Harapan's insistence to nominate Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister despite the former opposition leader's incarceration, PPBM policy and strategy bureau chairman Datuk Dr Rais Hussin said that Pakatan's strategy is akin to "shooting oneself in the foot".
"At times like this, the opposition should and must be united. When rules of engagement are laid down on how to defeat Barisan, the focus should be on nothing else except the total defeat of BN at the polls," Dr Rais wrote in an essay on Malaysiakini.
"But this appears not to be the case. Even when an opposition symbol is still in prison, and barred from elected office when he is out, the opposition appears bent on nominating him to be the PM.
"This is defying any semblance of logic, what more intelligence," he said.
Instead, Dr Rais said Pakatan should accept Pribumi's proposal for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) to helm the prime minister position again.
He said Pakatan's refusal to support Dr Mahathir for prime minister is creating a dangerous disunity among the opposition groups.
"Why not use a proven and tested general who by his own admission has repented, and bring the Barisan house crashing down?" Dr Rais said, adding that the former premier has a proven track record of winning five general elections.
Dr Rais questioned if Pakatan is really committed in offering reforms or if they were "busy engaging in parochial party politics" that serves their own interest at the expense of the rakyat.
"Instead of harping on yielding dividends for the many sacrifices made by many, it is high time the opposition show that their focus is the rakyat, and only the rakyat. Not on individuals or groups of individuals, families or any other," he said.
He said Pakatan and Pribumi must unite as one strong and credible coalition or they will be defeated by Barisan Nasional in the next general election.
"In other words, Pribumi and the opposition should be united as one force to force the party state that is Barisan to release all the money which it has taken from Malaysian people without fail.
Barring a cohesive front, the opposition will let loose a vital opportunity to hold the evildoers to account," he said.