LETTER | Why is Pakatan Harapan on a self-destruction trajectory?

Randhir Singh


LETTER | When voters kicked out the old Barisan Nasional regime during the last general election, they were hopeful of systemic, institutional changes.

So rightfully, when BN, together with renegades from Bersatu and Pakatan Harapan toppled the 22-month-old government through unethical means, of course, public sentiment will swing in favour of Harapan, right?

That view is simplistic at best.

Putting aside how feeble, inexperienced and gaffe-prone Harapan was during its short stint, the coalition - or whatever left of it - appears to be unnecessarily making one misstep after another after it lost power.

By right, PKR, DAP, Amanah and the remnant MPs from Bersatu would have a common objective now, namely to seize back power from Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

And given Muhyiddin's razor-thin majority in Parliament, it shouldn't be that difficult, what with Dr Mahathir Mohamad leading the charge, considering his track-record in deposing three prime ministers in the past.

But in spite of, or is it because of, having a common goal to return to power, Harapan remains even more fractured than when they were in Putrajaya.

Fissures between Anwar Ibrahim and Mahathir became more apparent when the former boycotted a media conference by the latter after the controversial Parliament sitting on Monday.

Earlier, Anwar had even paid a private visit to Muhyiddin, lending the latter legitimacy which Harapan allies had questioned since the eighth PM was sworn-in on March 1 after a series of political horse-trading.

Anwar had said it "wasn't a Pakatan Harapan press conference" despite the presence of other Harapan component party heads like Lim Guan Eng and Mohammad Sabu.

It doesn't take much to read between the lines.

As it is, there's no word on who would be PM if Harapan pulls off the vote of no-confidence and regains the mantle.

And in further proof that all is not well within Harapan, a series of audio recordings from internal party meetings in PKR and Bersatu were leaked to the media.

The timing of the release was clearly orchestrated by factions frustrated with the leadership.

And perhaps the most ill-thought-out plan since Harapan left Putrajaya was its attempt to oust Muhyiddin through a vote of no-confidence.

While most Malaysians were keen to test the PM's legitimacy, the timing reeks of political expediency in its most profane form, with little, if any, concern about the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit Malaysians in ways nobody has ever imagined.

So, all in all, it is of utmost disappointment that Harapan can't get its house in order, if not getting more detached from the people it seeks to represent.

If Harapan ever hopes to return to power, it has to do some soul-searching and recalibrate the self-destructing trajectory it has set itself upon.

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

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