KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 – The era of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has not passed as claimed by Pejuang president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, says Datuk Johari Abdul.
“The statement by Mukhriz in an interview is a view that is not based on facts. The fact is that senior Pakatan Harapan leaders such as DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu still accept Anwar as chairman,” he said.
The Sungai Petani MP said in a statement on Wednesday (Jan 5) that criticism of Pakatan party leaders is unavoidable.
“In PKR, strong support is shown for Anwar whether among the main leadership, the women’s wing or its youth force,” said Johari.
He said today’s political turmoil was in fact not due to Anwar’s leadership but Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s resignation as Prime Minister.
“If there was a transfer of power to Anwar in early 2020, then of course the Pakatan government would exist until now and would be able to fulfill its manifesto promises,” said Johari.
He also said that Pakatan’s defeat in the Melaka and Sarawak state elections cannot be used as a measure of Anwar’s popularity, adding that public talks since 1998 have been the main driving force for the people’s support.
“The people who gathered were briefed on the current situation in the country and at these talks, no figure is more influential than Anwar. Of course, when the public talks were cancelled, then the influence of Anwar and subsequently Pakatan will fade,” said Johari.
He also said that Mukhriz should have done some research on the matter before criticising Anwar.
“In fact, he (Mukhriz) gained an advantage in the last general election from Pakatan’s action to gather the people’s support through a series of public talks. For PKR, the influence of Anwar has not diminished and he remains eligible to be nominated as the 10th Prime Minister.
“On the other hand, Dr Mahathir’s leadership has sunk and is far from the hearts of Pakatan supporters and the people when he failed to hand over power to Anwar in 2020,” he said, adding that it was this action of destroying the people’s hopes by Dr Mahathir that Pejuang needs to do an impact study on in order to emerge as a party with fangs in the next general election.