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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Bersatu 'ready to compromise' on Harapan president post, for consensus' sake

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) information chief Kamarudin Md Nor said they are willing to accept a new Pakatan Harapan leadership structure as long as it is agreed to by the other parties in the coalition.
He also denied claims that Bersatu wanted to dominate the Harapan coalition by appointing the Harapan chairperson and president from their party.
"I want to clarify that Bersatu's stand is that only the chairperson position was suggested to be held by (Bersatu chairperson) Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"Bersatu's original proposal to place (Bersatu president) Muhyiddin Yassin as Harapan president was to strengthen the coalition's leadership as a whole in facing the next general election, based on his experience in leading election machinery.
"However, Bersatu is ready to compromise on the Harapan president position in the spirit of consensus (musyawarah)," Kamarudin said in a statement today.
This stand, he added, was brought to the Harapan presidential council meeting on June 9 and for now, they are awaiting an official response from the Harapan secretariat on this issue.
A consensus decision on the Harapan leadership structure is important, he said, to ensure cooperation among the parties within the coalition.
This is so that all the parties can remain focused on winning the 14th general election, he added. 
It was previously reported that Bersatu purportedly wanted to propose that Mahathir and Muhyiddin be appointed Harapan chairperson and president respectively, with former PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim as the adviser.

Coalition insiders had said then that the move to place Bersatu as the head of Harapan is part of a plan to secure Malay support in the next general election, although this idea had supposedly divided the parties.
Bersatu strategist Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff and Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman had previously been quoted saying that there was indeed a proposal to put Mahathir as chairperson for Harapan, but there was no idea of monopolising the opposition coalition as suggested by media reports. 
Following media reports painting Mahathir and Muhyiddin in the top two positions of the coalition, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng opposed the idea, saying he rejected such "monopoly". 
However, sources later said that Harapan had unanimously agreed to name Anwar as its de facto leader.- Mkini

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