The succession issue: An 'albatross around the neck' of Harapan

P Ramasamy


ADUN SPEAKS | The inability of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to hand over power to PKR’s president Anwar Ibrahim remains a thorny matter.

The curse of the proverbial “albatross around the neck” seems to have afflicted the Pakatan Harapan coalition.

The longer the succession matter is dragged out without any resolution in sight, the longer Harapan is going to suffer.

After more than 18 months in power and after having few successive by-elections defeats, the latest being the disastrous and unprecedented defeat at the hands of BN in Tanjung Piai, Harapan is in a most unenviable position.

The collateral damage cannot be averted by having a post-mortem on the reasons for the debacle or improving the performance of the ministers or the leaders.

The resolution of the power transition gets postponed, giving the impression that there are powerful vested interests who want Mahathir to continue for the full term.

Will Anwar have a united party to assume PM post?

The crises in PKR are being escalated to the extent that Anwar might not have a united party to buttress his position in assuming the prime minister’s position.

Despite the assurance that the succession matter might be resolved with the fixing of a date in the Harapan presidential council, nothing has come out.

Mahathir’s flip-flop attitude on fixing date has been complicated with the postponement of the handover to Anwar, which has been agreed for somewhere in the middle of next year.

Whether Mahathir really wants to give up power or not seems more ambiguous now than before.

The complications arising from the rift between Anwar and his deputy Azmin Ali (photo) seems to have widened to ensure that Anwar might not succeed Mahathir.

The inconsistency on the power transition seems to have deleterious effects on Harapan as a whole.

Amanah and Bersatu have lost their Malay support.

PKR is terribly divided.

The non-Malays, particularly the Chinese are deserting the DAP.

Whether the Harapan can survive to win the next general election seems to depend on the succession matter.

The more that Mahathir drags this matter, the more the collateral damage.

As to why the Harapan component parties are abstaining from raising the matter in the presidential council remains a mystery.

Not especially after the disastrous defeat in the recent Tanjung Piai by-election.

Whether Mahathir is aware or not, the succession matter is an “albatross around the neck” of Harapan.

The sooner the matter is dealt with in fulfilling the prophecy of the Harapan’s manifesto, the better.

Procrastination, or delay, is not going to be a problem with Mahathir. It is going to cost Harapan the crucial win in the next general election.

The leaders of Harapan component parties should not remain in a state of delusion, as if it is only a matter of time before they win back the hearts and minds of the people.

Let us not forget that BN is regrouping and reformulating its strategy to take on Harapan.

P RAMASAMY is Perai assemblyperson and deputy chief minister II of Penang.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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