Bersatu deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir said there was no need for Pakatan Harapan to have a dominant party among its members as the equality that existed in the coalition proved effective for all parties to express their respective opinion.
Instead, he said, the absence of a dominant party in the government was an edge that enabled Harapan to carry out its duties as a government.
“The practice of having consensus (in Harapan) is going well. I can see that there is no need to have a dominant party, like Umno in BN to raise matters that are regarded important,” he told Bernama in an interview at the Bersatu annual general assembly at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) in Putrajaya.
He said there was a vast difference between Harapan and BN, where in Harapan, all parties have equal rights and voice, regardless of the number of seats they have in Parliament or the state legislative assemblies.
He said BN was dominated by Umno with the party president and deputy president as prime minister and deputy prime minister, and the ministers mostly from Umno too, but Harapan emphasised equality.
“In Harapan, we have Tun (Dr Mahathir Mohamad) from the second smallest party in Harapan as Harapan chairperson and prime minister,” he added.
Mulhriz said Bersatu and Amanah had the least number of seats in parliament, but have equal voice in Harapan, like DAP and PKR which had more seats.
“For example, only because Bersatu has only 13 seats in parliament, we don’t feel ashamed to bring up issues on Malay interests at the Harapan presidential council meeting. Although there are only a few of us, we are equal in the presidential council and have the right to raise the matter," he added.
He said relations among parties in Harapan were very strong, although there were attempts by certain quarters to create anxiety among the people that the Harapan pact is fragile.
“All issues are discussed (at the presidential council. Anything that is felt important will be raised and discussed in a family environment. There may be differences in opinions and views, but the spirit of brotherhood among Harapan component parties is strong.
“Imagine us, from BN, Umno, now sitting at the same table with DAP, PKR and Amanah. When we know each other, only then we know how they think. It is not the same with the perception we had before.
“Relationship of the four parties (in Harapan) and Warisan (Parti Warisan Sabah) is very good,” he said.
On misunderstanding among leaders in Harapan as viralled in the social media, Mukhriz said with the new political situation, it was easy for statements by leaders to be spread on the social media.
“I don’t see it as something very serious. Before, we cannot talk about 1MDB, the RM2.6 billion issue, but in the end the issues exploded. Issues that were hidden become big issues for the people.
“Now, we are more open, although there are differences. I don’t see it as something that can weaken the Harapan government. Instead, it shows that we are more transparent,” he added.