Yin says: It’s not even a year and already we see major cracks in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Government.
I opined in my pre GE14 postings that this is a coalition of strange bedfellows that has come together just to get rid of Najib Abdul Razak and UMNO/BN.
The fault lines are clear from the very beginning.
The common manifesto they put out; they disagreed in private. We know now that Dr Mahathir Mohamad never wanted Local Government Elections but DAP did.
DAP was for UEC recognition which PPBM is opposed to.
DAP when in opposition has for decades advocated a Malaysian Malaysia has been very quiet about it in power. Mahathir has always advocated Ketuanan Melayu and is as gung-ho about it in power.
Mahathir does not like Anwar Ibrahim and still has not apologised for jailing him; but both protagonists keep up the charade while preparing for the battle royale.
Mahathir has found the chink in Anwar’s armour and is courting Azmin Ali to challenge Anwar.
Meanwhile PPBM is welcoming frogs from UMNO to boost their numbers. When Mahathir has enough MPs he will cut PH adrift if he finds them too meddlesome.
Already he has added a caveat to his promise to handover to Anwar in two years – “if it is the wish of the people”.
Time is running out
Time is not on Mahathir’s side. At 94 he cannot afford to wait. He has to take the battle to Anwar which is why he is in such a hurry to build up PPBM by welcoming the UMNO frogs against the wishes of his PH partners; and breaking the promise not to accept them. But then breaking promises comes as naturally to politicians as breathing; and Mahathir is an old hand.
Anwar is not without his options. He can use Najib and UMNO as a weapon against Mahathir should it be necessary. However because PKR is a multi-racial party Anwar cannot openly court UMNO.
It is in Najib’s interest to go to bed with Anwar because as PM he can recommend to the Agong a pardon for the ex-PM which is something Mahathir will not do. The Agong is from Najib’s home state… say no more.
Anwar’s other option is to gang up with DAP to have control of PH. Because of PKR’s more inclusive views Anwar will be the preferred bedmate to Mahathir.
Mahathir may then call up the joker of the pack – PAS.
PAS is anti- non Muslims and especially anti DAP. In this case Amanah has no option but to join the PKR-DAP axis.
The disintegration of PH is inevitable; it’s not “if” but “when” because of the self interests of the different players.
Najib to face justice
But what do the rakyat want?
They want Najib to face justice; yes; but then they also want reforms.
If their priority is to see all those who are corrupt jailed, then Mahathir is the better choice. The sooner Mahathir destroys Najib and UMNO, the better his chance of getting more frogs to boost PPBM’s numbers.
If they want a less racial government, they have a better chance under Anwar, unless PKR changes tack and team up with Najib/UMNO to fight Mahathir.
But while politicians play their games, the rakyat continues to suffer.
A rakyat fed-up with the state of affairs supported PH on its promise of a Malaysia Baru. While we know a Malaysia Baru cannot be built in one election – how can it after 60 years of rot? – the early signs that PH has no intention of doing so has angered many of its supporters. Cameron Highlands and Semenyih is the rakyat’s answer to this betrayal.
The new arrangement in this musical chairs that is being played out on the deck of a sinking Malaysia would probably look like this:
PPBM plus UMNO frogs and crossovers from PKR led by Azmin will form one bloc.
UMNO/PAS will form another bloc – if Mahathir has not killed UMNO.
PKR (what remains of it); Amanah and DAP will be the third bloc.
MCA and MIC will exist only in name just like PPP – a footnote in our history.
Nothing is simple or straightforward in Malaysian politics. The strands are as tangled as a plate of mee goreng. The plot as convoluted as a Korean TV drama.
But one thing is certain; coalitions bound together by short-term interests and not common ideology will not hold.
PH will unravel.
(The views expressed are those of the contributor)
Ward 5, Tanjong Rambutan.