KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 – Since the incarceration of Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, attention has turned towards who could be the next to helm the leadership position. Many saw Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali and PKR vice-president as viable choices, but political analyst Khoo Kay Peng thought otherwise.
Khoo said the Opposition coalition needed someone who had more time on his hands to handle the coalition’s matters. “Things are not like 30 years ago. Today, we need someone who can devote more time, who must be active enough in debating issues. “Selangor is the most advanced state and needs more of his attention,” Khoo told reporters when contacted.
He added that anyone who had the support of all of Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) coalition parties should be named the next Opposition leader. He named PKR’s Nurul Izzah Anwar and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah as good candidates for the position. From DAP, he saw parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang and publicity chief Tony Pua as viable candidates.
“Lim is still a good candidate and probably the most experienced. Wan Azizah, too, but I don’t think she will contest in a parliamentary seat. I don’t think they will pursue that route, too. “Tony Pua is experienced enough and is someone seen at the forefront of several key issues discussed.”
Khoo added that several leaders from PAS were also strong enough to take over from Anwar, they being Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Khalid Samad and Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa. He saw them as the “voices of moderation” who were willing to take up important issues. No matter who the chosen one was, Khoo said the person needed the support of all three parties.
Political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian observed that PR needed to find someone who, like Anwar, was capable of “pacifying” all the parties. He said the closest in Parliament were Nurul Izzah and Azmin, but the support for the two were divided. “Some agree to Izzah, who is still new in terms of experience, while others agree to Azmin, who doesn’t have much support from DAP.”