KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 25 – Pakatan Raykat’s de facto leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy conviction involving his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan at the Federal Court on Aug 28. The big question remains on who would replace Anwar, as he faces the prospect of prison if convicted? Speaking to news portal, The Malaysian Insider (TMI), Anwar said Pakatan Rakyat (PR) prior discussions pertaining the matter have taken place.

“They have discussed this before. It goes back to our original understanding. Wherever the (PR presidential) meetings are held, they (the meetings) are chaired by the host. “So if it’s at PKR, Wan Azizah will chair it, at PAS, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (its president) will do it and the same with DAP” he said during an interview at his residence in Bukit Segambut, Kuala Lumpur.

He said that the leaders of the three parties had strong relationships forged in the coalition’s inter-party committees. “Their roles should not be diminished. There is not much truth to the belief that Anwar is so important for Pakatan, or that the leaders of all three parties are so important. It is probably good for my ego but as a fact, it is not true,” Anwar added.

PR has recently dealt with the political turmoil due to the Selangor crisis in replacing ex-Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid. During the turmoil, Abdul Hadi who is PAS president and also the party’s powerful Shura Council had publicly opposed Khalid’s removal as demanded by PKR with strong support from DAP. According to TMI, If Anwar is to the prison, some quarters believe that PR would face harder time to unite, given the ideological differences between PAS and its partners.

“I do not agree with the negative view that people have about (Abdul) Hadi. I may not agree with him in everything, but in this issue (PR unity) … he was with us in Parliament and we had a long discussion. “He may not come to Pakatan meetings because of his illness or if he is overseas. But, he sends a full team (comprising top decision makers).” Anwar believes that PR would survive even if he returns to prison, saying this has been proven by what turn out within the coalition after the Selangor crisis.

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