Pakatan Rakyat could be led by a Malay for now, but the opposition leader's position should be open to all races.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malay leadership of Pakatan Rakyat is not a permanent arrangement as the leader of the Opposition pact could come from any race.
DAP national vice chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw said while the party currently accepts Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as PR leader it doesn’t mean the position was exclusive for the Malays.
“Pakatan Rakyat’s leader should be selected not based on the person’s race. If the person is suitable to become a leader, I believe Pakatan will appoint that person to lead the country,” Dr Tan told The Mole.
Dr Tan was commenting on Anwar’s statement in an interview with Asia360 where Anwar said that the race-card will not be an issue if the opposition forms the Federal Government.
“The opposition was seen to be an attack on the Malays. It is not necessarily right; I’m talking about perceptions here. By 2008, we [the opposition] controlled five states — this is not a concern anymore. We are talking about an UMNO-dominated government versus the opposition, which is also Malay-led, so you can’t use this race card,” Anwar was quoted as saying in the interview.
The interview was also published in Anwar's blog.
Dr Tan said although it is not Pakatan’s permanent policy to have a Malay leader, Pakatan members have agreed that Anwar is the most suitable person to lead the pact at this point of time.
“This is because Anwar has the experience and we feel he is most qualified in bringing the reform agenda Pakatan strives for,” Dr Tan who is the Kepong MP explained.
Asked if Anwar's statement was not in conflict with PR's stand where all partners are considered to be equal, Dr Tan said it was a non-issue.
“It is a non-issue to us as we have always respected the fact that anyone who is capable and accepted by the majority should be a leader.
“We should look beyond this race game. Let’s do what is best for the country,” Dr Tan argued.
Johor PKR chairman Datuk Chua Jui Meng said it is only logical for any ruling coalition to be led by a Malay as only a Malay could be appointed as the Prime Minister.
“Of course any coalition will be Malay-led. We are being realistic here. I would like to think that is what Anwar meant by the opposition being Malay-led.
“The reality is we need to get the majority support and in fact the other Pakatan partners have never demanded to be the PM,” Chua added.