PETALING JAYA: In the latest twist to who will be the Opposition’s prime minister candidate, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has been touted as the choice of Pakatan Harapan Plus, with two deputy prime ministers flanking him.
The choice of deputy prime minister (I) will be PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim while the other is former Kedah mentri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng and Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu had agreed to this proposal of Shafie, Anwar and Mukhriz, added the former prime minister and former chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia in a live Facebook video yesterday.
In an immediate reply, Lim and Mohamad said a joint statement issued yesterday that the option of Parti Warisan Sabah chief Shafie, Anwar and Mukhriz had yet to be discussed with other party leaders before the proposal is presented to the Pakatan Harapan presidential council.
In his live Facebook, Dr Mahathir said the informal meeting was held at the Sabah Guest House in Kuala Lumpur last Thursday.
“The informal meeting was attended by Shafie, Mohamad, Lim, Tan Kok Wai (DAP’s Cheras MP) Mukhriz, Datuk Marzuki Yahya (former Bersatu secretary general) and a few others.
“We discussed the current happenings in the country. At the discussion, I was open to all proposals, even if it is not to nominate me as the next prime minister.
“We then decided in a consensus that Shafie be named as the next PM. I fully support this.
“We also agreed to propose Anwar as the future deputy prime minister I and Mukhriz as deputy prime minister II, ” said Dr Mahathir.
He also said that Shafie must be remembered as “one of the first to fight against the kleptocracy and a victim of Najib”.
“Shafie was ousted from his posts as minister and Umno vice-president because he could not accept the corrupt practices and the theft of the people’s money by Najib’s government. He was then with Muhyiddin. Now Muhyiddin has left the struggle and joined the kleptocrats who once got rid of him, ” said Dr Mahathir.
Dr Mahathir also stated that he believed Shafie’s nomination would further strengthen the relationship between the peninsula and East Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir ended the session by stating that he would moot a vote of no confidence against the government of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at the next Parliament session on July 13.
In 2015, Shafie was removed from his Cabinet post as the rural and regional development minister, believed to be due to his criticism against the then government over the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) controversy.
Meanwhile, Lim and Mohamad in their joint DAP-Amanah statement said the option of Shafie as the ninth PM was a “needed option”.
“This is to realise the efforts to return the mandate of the people in the last general election.
“However, this proposal has to be discussed by central DAP and Amanah leaderships before it is brought to the Pakatan presidential council to be collectively decided on, ” said the statement.
Dr Mahathir had a fallout with Muhyiddin when the latter became the Prime Minister on March 1 after Dr Mahathir resigned abruptly on Feb 24.
He stayed on in Pakatan Harapan despite Bersatu joining hands with Barisan Nasional and PAS to form a new federal government.
However, in the last few weeks, Dr Mahathir also had a fallout with Anwar, Pakatan’s initial choice for the ninth prime minister if the Opposition wins the next general election.