Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Anwar factor in Pakatan Harapan excites analysts

 Geraldine Tong   

Following the formation of the new opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan, opinion research firm Merdeka Center sees the development as a "welcome story" after months of a fragmented opposition.
"For me, it's a welcome story in the sense that, for a while, the opposition seemed totally fragmented and not able to piece back together.
"But the new coalition has a long way in terms of gaining the confidence of voters," Merdeka Center director Ibrahim Suffian told Malaysiakini yesterday.
Proposing former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to be the prime minister if the coalition wins the next general election is not a bad resolution, Ibrahim (photo) said, but he believes this alone would not be enough to sway voters.
"More things need to be done... Pakatan Harapan has to show the voters that it has what it takes to propose better ideas than BN and put together a better plan on how to solve the country's problems," he said.
Pakatan Harapan has taken the first step of offering an alternative leadership for the country, he said, but now it also has offer an alternative on how to run the country.
Coalition will become a cohesive pact
Political analyst Wong Chin Huat said with Anwar as Pakatan Harapan’s candidate for prime minister, the new coalition would become a cohesive pact.
"It will stand in stark contrast with the defunct Pakatan Rakyat and also BN under (Prime Minister) Najib (Abdul Razak)," Wong (photo) told Malaysiakini.
This is because, with this resolution, there will be no leadership dispute within the coalition and none of the parties in the coalition will push for syariah criminal law, he said.
"This decision on Anwar is a clear signal from the coalition that has been made to ensure the cohesiveness of the coalition," Wong added.
PKR, DAP and Parti Amanah Negara held a roundtable discussion yesterday, during which they formed the new opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan.
PAS was also invited to the roundtable discussion, but the Islamic party snubbed the invitation.
The new coalition's first consensus decision was for Anwar, who was in February this year jailed for five years on his Sodomy II charge, to be its candidate for prime minister if it wins the 14th general election.

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