SHAH ALAM (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president Azmin Ali has hit out at former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over his comments criticising opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's statement that the opposition should continue to engage the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) in the next general election.
Datuk Seri Azmin made the comments in response to Dr Mahathir's statement on Wednesday (Sept 6) that the opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) pact was having some problems with the PKR because Anwar had openly said it should continue to engage PAS in the next general election.
"I wish to remind Dr Mahathir that Anwar, as the coalition's (de facto leader), has his right to express his opinions," he said after opening the Selangor International Business Summit 2017 in Shah Alam on Thursday.
Last Saturday, Anwar admitted to endorsing talks between his party PKR and PAS to work together in the election despite the PH presidential council's decision last week not to cooperate with the Islamist party.
Anwar is the PKR adviser as well as the coalition's de facto leader.
Responding to Anwar's comments, Dr Mahathir had said on Wednesday that the opposition was having some problems with the PKR due to its uncertain stance regarding cooperation with PAS in the upcoming polls.
He also stressed that the PH opposition coalition had collectively decided not to collaborate with PAS, explaining that an extra party in the coalition would only make seat negotiations even harder.
"If we accept PAS in the group, there will be five parties and they will insist to contest all of their previous seats. Not just the ones they have won. Then, there will no more seats left for others," he said.
Following Anwar's statement, Azmin said he felt vindicated after facing criticism for having held informal talks over an alliance with PAS.