KUALA LUMPUR: Lim Kit Siang, the leader of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), would become the Prime Minister of Malaysia if the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) were to win the next general elections, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
In an interview with Channel NewsAsia, the minister, who is seen by some as a rising star and a loyalist to Prime Minister Najib Razak, said neither former prime minister (Tun Dr) Mahathir Mohamad, who heads the opposition coalition, nor jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, will lead the country in the event of an opposition victory.
"If Pakatan Harapan were to win the next general elections, Lim Kit Siang will be the next Prime Minister, not Tun Dr Mahathir as Lim Kit Siang is always suggesting," said Abdul Rahman.
"He (Lim) needs to use Tun Mahathir to win the elections," said Abdul Rahman
"Tun Mahathir can forget about the job. Anwar Ibrahim can forget about the job. It will be Lim Kit Siang. And therefore to understand Malaysian politics, focus on this guy," said Abdul Rahman.
Malaysia’s 14th general election must be called by August 2018.
According to Abdul Rahman, the DAP will win the largest number of seats in the four-party opposition coalition comprising DAP, Anwar Ibrahim’s People’s Justice Party (PKR), Mahathir’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and Parti Amanah Negara, led by Mohamad Sabu.
"If you look at any democratic country, whoever becomes the Prime Minister must have the largest number of seats in Parliament. There is no way Tun Mahathir’s party will gain more Malay seats (which will be) bigger than the Chinese seats DAP will get," said Abdul Rahman.
In the last general elections in 2013, the opposition coalition won 89 Parliamentary seats in the 222-seat Parliament while the ruling Barisan Nasional won 133 seats.
Out of the 89 seats, DAP polled the biggest votes, winning 38 seats followed by PKR with 30 seats.
Lim Kit Siang and Dr Mahathir have both rejected the idea that a non-Malay will be the country’s Prime Minister.
DAP MP Liew Chin Tong dismissed the Minister’s assertion as "utter nonsense".
"This (Lim becoming Prime Minister) is utter nonsense. It is flogging a dead horse," he told Channel NewsAsia.
"Do you think Mahathir will let Lim Kit Siang manipulate him?" he added.-- Channel NewsAsia