SHAH ALAM: Despite reports of PKR’s initial reluctance, Pakatan Harapan has unanimously settled on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the candidate for prime minister and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as his deputy should they make it to Putrajaya.
The announcement, which was made by Pakatan secretariat chief Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, saw Dr Mahathir getting choked with emotion before going up to the stage to thank the delegates.
The decision was set in an agreement of cooperation, which was signed by Dr Mahathir as Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Pribumi) chairman, Dr Wan Azizah as PKR president, Pribumi president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin, DAP chairman Tan Kok Wai and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president Mohamad Sabu.
Among others, the agreement stipulated that a Royal Pardon would be obtained for PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim once Pakatan wrested Putrajaya from Barisan Nasional and be made prime minister.
Members also agreed to set a limit to the prime minister’s tenure to two terms and for Pribumi to contest in 52 seats, PKR (51), DAP (35) and Amanah (27). The other 57 seats will not be contested by Pakatan.
The agreement also bound Pakatan to a reform of major institutions and to ensure that posts, including that of the Attorney-General, the Inspector-General of Police, Armed Forces Chief and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission head, be free from political influence.
The appointments, said the agreement, would have to go through the Parliament via vetting by a select committee and be carried out by the King.
Dr Mahathir said it was very difficult for all the Pakatan parties to come to an agreement, particularly on seat allocation.
Admitting that it was not easy for him or others to work together, Dr Mahathir said in life, there were some things that “one had to leave behind to move forward”.
“Since I joined Umno, I had fought for my party but now I am fighting against it.
“It is not easy for me to destroy the party I had loved for 60 years,” he said.
At another function, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Government would respect Anwar’s release date from prison as fixed by the court.
Prisons Department director-general Datuk Seri Zulkifli Omar said based on its calculation, Anwar would be released on Friday, June 8, and not on Monday, June 11 as mentioned by Dr Wan Azizah.