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Saturday, December 3, 2022

DAP was willing to forgo positions for Anwar to be PM - Loke

Prior to the formation of Anwar Ibrahim’s coalition government, DAP had pledged and provided unconditional support to the Pakatan Harapan chairperson as prime minister. 

The party’s support even meant that it would sacrifice its place within the government for the sake of Anwar, said DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke today.

However, the newly appointed transport minister said Anwar had insisted that DAP be included in the government.

“We supported him without any conditions. I said that if (DAP) was a stumbling block (to the formation of a government) we would facilitate and ease (the process) of him getting a majority,” he said at a press conference at DAP’s headquarters today. 

Loke (above, centre) said the party did not make any demands for the number of cabinet posts, leaving it to the prime minister’s discretion.

The minister repeatedly stressed throughout the press conference that it had provided unconditional support for Anwar as the prime minister. 

Asked if it was possible that the party took a backseat to counter the narrative of its dominance, Loke said that it was a question that only the prime minister could answer.

While Harapan leaders make up the majority of the 28-seat cabinet, DAP only got four posts despite winning 40 seats in GE15 - the most in the Harapan coalition.

The four ministers are Seremban MP Loke (transport), Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh (youth and sports), Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming (local government development), and Batu Gajah MP V Sivakumar (human resources).

PKR on the other hand, which won 31 seats in GE15, has eight ministers, followed by two minister from Amanah which won eight seats.

In the previous Harapan administration in 2018, under Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s cabinet, DAP held six ministerial positions after winning 42 seats in the 14th general election.

Meanwhile, Loke acknowledged that while there may be some DAP members that felt the party was unrepresented within the cabinet, the party’s struggle was not for positions but for the country.

“Therefore whatever positions we have been given, we will do the best for the country,” he said. 

He also dismissed concerns over Anwar also taking the finance portfolio, stating that there would be checks and balances in a unity government. - Mkini

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