DAP today said the party remains committed in its support for Anwar Ibrahim as Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) candidate for prime minister, while maintaining that it is open to working with other parties including arch-enemy Umno after the next general election.
“I think it’s only fair for us to continue to support him,” DAP organising secretary Loke Siew Fook told business station BFM, adding that the choice of Anwar was based on a “clear leadership structure” followed by PH.
“Anwar is the chairman of PH. If there are other forces or allies who want to work with us, there must be some terms and conditions and parameters on how to work together.”
Loke said while PH would not concede its seats to Umno if the Malay party becomes a third force in the next general election, the coalition should still be open to forming an alliance with others after the polls.
He said this was because three-way contests would mean no clear victor.
“Politics is full of dynamics. You cannot rule out that possibility. If there is no clear winner in the outcome of the next general election, you have to provide a solution. The country cannot be in limbo,” he BFM.
“If there is no clear winner, you have to find a way to create a stable government.”
When pressed on whether PH would form a government with Umno, Loke replied: “It very much depends on the next election’s results.”
He disagreed with a suggestion that finding a partner to form a government after the election showed that the opposition was only interested in being in power.
“No. First of all we have been betrayed. The sentiment within PH is that we can never work with the traitors, those who have betrayed us. We can never trust them again,” he said, in an apparent reference to Bersatu which quit the PH coalition last year.
He said PH could not foresee whether the coalition would be “betrayed” again by a future partner.
“That is something we cannot foresee, but as far as we are concerned, those who have a record of betraying us, that is a red line,” he said.
The PH government fell apart following Bersatu’s decision to quit the coalition in February last year, to form a government with the support of MPs from Umno, PAS and GPS as well as several former PKR MPs who quit their party.
Umno’s top leaders however recently decided to go it alone in the next general election, a move that would see the party go head-to-head with fellow Malay-based parties Bersatu and PAS which will be contesting under the Perikatan Nasional banner.