KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — The name Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu has been synonymous with Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) for the past eight years but it is not his party, Khalid Samad told Mingguan Malaysia in an interview published today.
The component party of the federal ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition will be holding an internal election to choose its next leadership line-up in December, in conjunction with its 2023 national convention.
He said the decision on whether to pass the baton to someone else is up to Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu.
“To me, Mat Sabu’s been there for eight years.
“If he thinks that it’s enough and wants to pass it to somebody else, it’s up to him,” Khalid who is Amanah communication director was quoted as saying.
He added that the 27 Amanah committee members who will be chosen in the upcoming internal polls, will also discuss the issue then.
Khalid was asked about a perception that Amanah is a “sinking” party that lacked leaders as well as to confirm if there were factions within Amanah and “moves” ahead of the Amanah convention to replace Mohamad as the next president.
“In Amanah, we do not focus on personalities. We are a group and leadership is also by group.
“In Amanah, we have the Group of 18 (G18) who are the founders. Some among the Chinese have said that this is Mat Sabu’s party. But we do not want to create an atmosphere in which the party is identified by known individuals,” he replied.
In response to Mohamad’s replacement, Khalid said there is no need for anyone to make any plots as the other 27 elected party leaders who make up Amanah’s national committee and the three wings will “sit down and discuss” the party’s best interest for the future.
“If the president is change, some might say it could jeopardise the party’s image. At the same time, others say the converse, that the party needs renewal to give the party its best. So we will discuss.”
Asked what would happen to Amanah if Mohamad was no longer the president, Khalid reiterated that his party does not depend on individuals to lead.
“Whether there is a change in presidents or whether someone jumps, we should be able to resolve it because our influence cannot revolve on one person.
“We need to make the efforts until Amanah’s message is understood by all. Other than that, people will understand that anyone can become president,” Khalid told the Sunday edition of Utusan Malaysia.
Amanah’s founding leaders were formerly members of Islamist party PAS that broke away after a fraught internal election in 2015.
The party was officially registered in September that year, taking over the registration of the inactive Malaysian Workers Party.
Mohamad was its president and his deputy was the late Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub who died following surgery for a brain aneurysm in July.