Malaysia's Pakatan Plus alliance has 107 federal lawmakers on its side, Anwar says

PH leader Anwar Ibrahim said that these federal lawmakers will move forward as a team.
PH leader Anwar Ibrahim said that these federal lawmakers will move forward as a team.PHOTO: THE STAR

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan (PH) and other MPs aligned to it, called Pakatan Plus, have a total of 107 MPs, said PH leader Anwar Ibrahim on Wednesday (June 10).

He said that these federal lawmakers will move forward as a team to ensure the people's mandate is respected and that corruption is stopped.

The largest group of MPs in the Pakatan Plus faction is the 91 lawmakers from PH's three member parties - Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Democratic Action Party and Parti Amanah Nasional.

The PH coalition is led by Datuk Seri Anwar, PKR's president and the official Parliamentary Opposition Leader.

The other opposition MPs are nine from Parti Warisan Sabah, five outcasts from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, two from Parti Sarawak Bersatu and one MP from Upko party in Sabah.

Mr Anwar's headcount is one short of the 108 opposition MPs in Parliament's official headcount, and it wasn't clear who had been left out amid the constant swirl of defections in Malaysian politics.

Mr Anwar said in a Facebook live session on Wednesday that the opposition must present a united front in its strategy to take on the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said that a meeting he chaired on Tuesday featuring top leaders from Pakatan Plus, including Dr Mahathir, had concluded that there was a need for cooperation.

"We gathered, and we achieved a consensus. No matter what the strategy is, we must stick together. The opposition must be firm in their stance.

"Now, we have 107 in this group, and we will move forward as a team to ensure that the people's mandate is respected and the inconsistencies as well as corruption is stopped," he said.

While the Muhyiddin government's RM35 billion (S$11.4 billion) National Economic Revival Plan (Penjana) was a positive effort to tackle the Covid-19 economic fallout, Mr Anwar said the economic stimulus package was not debated in Parliament.

 
 

"No chance was given to MPs on the government and the opposition side to state their questions and ask for explanations.

"This is the only country in the world where the government can table billions in funds without debates," he said.

Mr Anwar said the government must take swift action in addressing economic issues that were expected to spiral downwards in the coming months.

He said talk of a V-shaped recovery in Malaysia was merely a projection.

"I think it is appropriate that we debate whether this projection (V-shaped recovery) is realistic or reasonable."

Mr Anwar also said that the amount allocated by the government to assist those who were affected by the Covid-19 economic fallout wasn't adequate. He claimed only about RM40 billion had been spent by the government so far.

In his other remarks, Mr Anwar also said current political developments were unhealthy, as politicians had become mere items to be purchased for ministerial and government-linked company (GLC) positions.

"Our loyal friends who are principled will not be enticed by the promises of positions," he added.

 
 

Mr Anwar said nearly every GLC position is filled by politicians as well as MPs aligned with PN since it came to power last March.

"Try to imagine, not every MP is qualified for that field. Don't tell me that among the millions of Malaysians who have various professional qualifications, only politicians are qualified. This only happened because of a weak Perikatan administration," he added.