The opposition is divided over whether Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Muhyiddin Yassin or PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim should be the prime minister if the opposition wins in the next general election.
This came about after former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad proposed that Muhyiddin leads the country, while Pakatan Harapan insisted that Anwar is their only candidate.
Malaysiakini hit the streets of Kuala Lumpur to find out what people think and they too, proved to be equally divided.
However, to many, neither Anwar nor Muhyiddin seemed to matter much – all they want is a clean and God-fearing leader.
Yee Fong Heng (photo) lamented the endemic corruption in the country and said it did not matter which personality takes the reins of the premiership.
“As a leader, the person has to put the country above himself. We don’t want a leader given power only for him to take the people’s money,” said Yee, a 52-year-old housewife.
A Ruebendran, who works in the private sector, too has trouble choosing between Anwar and Muhyiddin.
He said the people would only discover how qualified the two are after they take up the position.
“I don’t want to say who the next prime minister should be, but what I want to say is the person needs to bring change to the country, for the economy is in bad shape.
“We don’t care who it is, as long as the person can change this country,” said Ruebendran, 34 (photo).
However, R Ganneesh preferred Anwar as prime minister, stating that the former opposition leader would also be able to perform on the international stage.
“As for Muhyiddin, I don’t think he is capable as he was Johor menteri besar in the past and Johor did not see improvement like in Selangor and Penang under the federal opposition,” Ganneesh said.
Cobbler Kolis Zakir Mat, 48, also favours Anwar.
“Give him five years, if we don’t think that he is good, then we can change in the next election.
“Now, the rakyat is burdened with the goods and services tax. Like me, it’s difficult. I have five children and I need to pay rent too,” Kolis said.
As for stall owner Asliza Omar, she wants Muhyiddin as prime minister if the opposition wins, noting that the former deputy prime minister has good manners.
“If it’s me, I would choose Muhyiddin. He has a clean record, there is no controversy about him. He is soft spoken, he doesn’t oppose many things.
“As for Anwar, he has been fighting for everything. It’s confusing for the rakyat,” said Asliza, 37.
Mahathir, in a speech in London last week, said Muhyiddin would likely become the prime minister if the opposition wins the 14th general election, but stated that this was on the condition that the other parties were in agreement.
However, DAP national publicity chief Tony Pua responded by saying that Anwar should be prime minister.
This was backed by Pakatan Harapan secretariat chief Saifuddin Abdullah, who also noted that an interim prime minister may be needed as Anwar is still in jail.
Anwar was in February last year sentenced to five years in prison for sodomy, a charge he claims is politically motivated.