KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will likely be made Pakatan Harapan adviser after refusing to be the Opposition coalition's prime minister-designate, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said.
The Pakatan Harapan chief secretary said the jailed PKR de facto leader's decision will make it easier for the presidential council to finalise its organisational structure in time for the 14th general election.
"I believe Anwar will be appointed adviser and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad be given a role alongside Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail," he told Malay Mail Online in a phone interview yesterday, referring to the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman and PKR president respectively.
Saifuddin also said that the council's line-up should not be confused with that of a "shadow Cabinet", as the two are separate entities.
"We should not mix the structure with a shadow Cabinet.
"I think the structure's main objective is to strengthen PH's machinery and policy/manifesto. Its aim is only one, ie to win GE14."
He added that if there is a need to name the coalition's PM candidate, the presidential council can then deliberate on the matter and decide.
"Whatever PH is going to do next, including with the possibility of naming a shadow Cabinet or a PM candidate, I think PH as a whole, and the personalities involved, should present a coalition of minds that is like a 'bridge' — between people of different ethnics and religions; between Semenanjung, Sabah and sarawak; between the reform agenda and experience in administration," Saifuddin added.
Anwar said in a statement Saturday he will not offer himself to become Pakatan Harapan's candidate for prime minister, describing the debates around the issue as “tiring” as such a decision should be in the hands of voters.
He had also rejected PPBM’s proposal for Pakatan Harapan's presidential council line-up, saying that it mirrored the ruling Barisan Nasional's structure.
PPBM recently proposed that Dr Mahathir and its president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin be appointed Pakatan Harapan’s chairman and president, with Anwar as adviser.