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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Muhyiddin explains Kit Siang's absence in Harapan line-up

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The Pakatan Harapan leadership line-up was decided based on names submitted by each component party, all of which were accepted unanimously, said the coalition's deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said each party - DAP, PKR, Amanah, and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) - had nominated their own representatives to be in the coalition’s leadership.
“(The nominees) were proposed to be in the presidential council and were subsequently listed as the leader announced (in the line-up). So that was what was decided.
“It is not like if someone proposed a certain name, we would reject it. No. All the proposals that came from each party were accepted 100 percent,” Muhyiddin told reporters today.
He was speaking at a press conference in Petaling Jaya after chairing the Bersatu's presidential council meeting. He was asked to explain why DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang is not in Harapan’s top leadership.
Since the Harapan leadership line-up was announced on July 14, some BN leaders had criticised it as a bid to mislead voters by having Malays in its top three positions, even though DAP is supposedly more dominant because it holds the most number of parliamentary seats.
Instead, the most senior DAP leader in the line-up is the party’s secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, who sits in Harapan’s Number Four post as among the coalition’s three deputy presidents.
These critics include Umno president Najib Abdul Razak, his aide Tengku Sarifuddin Tengku Ahmad, and minister Salleh Said Keruak.
Kit Siang had countered that Harapan is neither dominated by DAP nor Malays, and insisted that it is a “coalition of equals”. PKR and Harapan president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail likewise, said the coalition would continue to make decisions by consensus.
Despite this, Harapan and Bersatu chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad claimed that he is unofficially Najib’s counterpart in the coalition, calling himself the “top dog”.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin told reporters today that Harapan’s leadership line-up is already clear, and each office bearer has a clear role to play in the coalition’s draft constitution, which would hopefully be finalised soon.
“Since this is Pakatan Harapan, there is a collective responsibility. Although the posts go by many names, in actuality, we are a team working in an understanding called Pakatan Harapan.
“Those who are still confused or either don’t understand, are deliberately trying to confuse others. But for us within Pakatan Harapan, there is nothing confusing about it,” he said.
'Felda among Bersatu's focus'
On another matter, Muhyiddin said the Bersatu presidential council has discussed preparations today to ensure that its election machinery would run smoothly, particularly in constituencies that are likely to be allocated to the party.
However, since the final decision would only be made by Harapan, Muhyiddin declined to divulge seats Bersatu are hoping to contest. He added that the coalition’s seat negotiations had already started weeks ago.
To a question on whether Bersatu is aiming to contest in Felda seats, Muhyiddin replied that Harapan, including Bersatu, has been receiving a rousing response from Felda settlers, and it would be the focus of the coalition’s election strategy.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said the meeting also discussed preparations for the party’s first-anniversary celebration, which would fall on Sept 8.
“We are of the opinion that it is appropriate to celebrate our first anniversary by continuing to give Malaysians the impression of our party’s preparedness to move forward together with our partners in Pakatan Harapan, along with some positions that we have taken regarding some current issues,” he said.
The party would also hold town hall sessions with various parts of the society to give its views on some issues, and gather feedback on what the party should do.

On another matter, when asked about the formation of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Bank Negara’s foreign exchange losses, Muhyiddin said he does not mind it. 
However, he expressed disappointment that the government did not form an RCI on the 1MDB scandal even though many people have demanded such a probe, and the issue is more current and still hotly debated all around the world.
“Does Najib consider the matter to be so small that he said it is unimportant? Even though implicates the prime minister, Malaysian Official 1, and many other names mentioned? Why is there no action?” he asked. - Mkini

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