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ANWAR Ibrahim’s daughter, opposition young turk. And now peacemaker between two of Malaysia’s most famous politicians.

Friday’s announcement on Pakatan Harapan’s leadership line-up was the culmination of months of behind the scenes negotiations over a series of issues, in particular bridging the gap between Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim.

This is where PKR vice-president  Nurul Izzah Anwar played a key role in helping the political foes bury the hatchet.

“My priority was to cement the cooperation between Anwar and Dr Mahathir by ensuring they make peace,” she told The Malaysian Insight.

To get the ball rolling, Nurul Izzah met Dr Mahathir in London to discuss this and other matters involving the PH leadership.

The main objective was to iron out all issues and determine the PH line-up before they sought registration with the Registrar of Societies.

“This has materialised as can be seen from the announcement on the PH line-up early yesterday morning,” Nurul Izzah said.

She said her informal meeting with Dr Mahathir was to ensure PH became a cohesive coalition that would protect the people from a kleptocratic government.

“Dr Mahathir is equally committed to the agenda to reform the country, as mentioned by him early on Friday,” the Lembah Pantai MP said.

Nurul Izzah added that all key PH leaders would have to make sacrifices to ensure victory in the 14th General Election.

Press conference delayed

The press conference to announce the new PH line-up was scheduled for 9.30pm on Thursday, but was finally held early yesterday morning as the PH presidential committee meeting, chaired by Dr Mahathir, dragged on for five hours to iron out all outstanding matters.

It appeared to have been a fruitful meeting, as everyone had big smiles on their faces and were in a jovial mood during the press conference.

Dr Mahathir said as much, telling the media that although it was a lengthy meeting, the four parties in the coalition – PKR, Bersatu, Amanah and DAP – were unanimous with the decisions made, including the coalition structure and line-up.

He announced several decisions by the opposition, including limiting the prime minister to a maximum of two terms if PH wins the general election.

What happened at the meeting

At the PH meeting earlier, fears of Dr Mahathir being “dictatorial” were quickly stamped out as he gave everyone the chance to voice their views, a source said.

“Everyone was pleasantly surprised when Dr Mahathir told the meeting that we needed to make a decision since 14 people had spoken,” the source said.

“No one else had kept count of how many people spoke. It meant Dr Mahathir gave everyone a chance to ensure all parties had their say and were satisfied.”

Another source said the meeting was also prolonged as PKR wanted Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali as one of the PH deputy presidents.

“PKR believed Azmin’s popularity could strengthen the coalition but there were some objections.

“In the spirit of unity and reaching a consensus, in the end, everyone agreed that Azmin be vice-president,” the source said.

The PH deputy presidents are DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Amanah president Mohamed Sabu and Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin.

Bersatu deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir told The Malaysian Insight the meeting became lengthy because of discussions on PH’s structure, logo and other matters.

“We went into the meeting last night with one target, that is to not leave until all matters were resolved.

“We didn’t want to delay anymore,” said the Ayer Hitam assemblyman. – July 15, 2017.


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