PETALING JAYA: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu have called on Pakatan Harapan to stop wasting time on “opportunistic” Perikatan Nasional backbenchers who are exploiting them.
In a joint statement, Lim and Mohamad said PH must face the reality that the opposition needs a reset, following its failure to stop the federal budget from being passed.
“Yesterday’s vote has clearly shown that the 108 MPs opposed to PN are the same number that stayed firmly with PH in March 2020. Not a single government backbencher voted with PH, including those who allegedly support Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“Clearly, these government backbenchers are adept at playing political games to gain maximum leverage from the PN government,” they said.
They said PH declared its support for PKR president Anwar as the prime minister candidate and that he could court government backbenchers who are not kleptocrats.
However, the passing of the budget showed the backbenchers were only using PH for their own gain.
Lim and Mohamad said more time and resources should instead be spent on allies struggling for a common cause and that PH should look beyond its 92 MPs and concentrate on the 108 opposition MPs.
“The budget vote on Tuesday has taught us not to lose our energy on seeking the mirage of more than 111 MPs based only on PH’s core of 92 MPs. Should the 108 MPs be the base instead, how much stronger then will be PH-Plus?”
This figure would appear to include MPs from Warisan and Pejuang, led respectively by former Sabah chief minister Shafie Apdal and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Both leaders are at odds with Anwar.
“There must now be a political reset to focus on building a more united opposition grouping that can fight as one in the next general election.
“PH leaders must put aside past baggage so that PH can expand to PH Plus with a formidable force of 108 MPs. With 108 PH Plus MPs as a solid grouping, anything is still possible,” Lim and Mohamad said.