‘Pakatan Plus’ meets amid Putrajaya takeover rumours, but PKR and Anwar absent yet again

Radzi Razak
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad meeting leaders from Pakatan Harapan at the Albukhary Foundation headquarters June 4, 2020. — Picture via Facebook/Adam Mukhriz Mohd Muhayeddin

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad held a meeting with top leaders from Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Parti Warisan Sabah today, amid intensifying rumours that the pact is on the way to achieving majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

The meeting which starts at 4pm at the Albukhary Foundation headquarters here was attended by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and its national secretary Anthony Loke, Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu, Warisan president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, and disputed Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir and former secretary-general Datuk Marzuki Yahya.

One glaring absence, however, was PKR president and Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, or any representative from the PH party.

A PKR source who wished to remain anonymous confirmed Anwar’s absence, but declined to provide any reason why.

“PKR did not send anyone to the meeting today,” said the source.

Photos of the meeting were also posted in Dr Mahathir’s former aide Adam Mukhriz Mohd Muhayeddin’s Facebook account.

The meeting ended around 6pm, with a surprise visit by Datuk Shahruddin Md Salleh, who just recently resigned as deputy minister from the Perikatan Nasional government.

The Sri Gading MP today released a statement saying he has done a wrong political move by joining the Perikatan Nasional government — formed after the collapse of Dr Mahathir led Pakatan Harapan coalition in February.

It has been rumoured that PH Plus — a moniker for a loose coalition that includes PH, the faction of former component Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia now led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and Warisan — has managed to gain the upper hand in the Dewan Rakyat, barely a few months after they lost power during the February political crisis.

However, there are still disputes within the coalition over its prime minister candidate, with both Dr Mahathir and Anwar’s camps said to still be at loggerheads over the matter.

Anwar and PKR had previously snubbed a press conference by the new loose coalition after the half-day Parliament sitting on May 18.

A few days later, Anwar explained his absence from the event, saying that the event was not a PH media programme.

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