When politicians and not the system fail the people

The PH govt is now almost a footnote in the country’s history unless a miracle happens


TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned as the prime minister (PM) yesterday. He also resigned from his position as Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman, leaving the party he founded 40 months ago — specifically to dispose of Barisan Nasional (BN) — in tatters.

His resignation yesterday was as dramatic as his first when he almost brought the house down during the Umno 2002 General Assembly with his sudden announcement.

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, which swept to power after the historic May 9, 2018, election, is now almost a footnote in the country’s history unless a miracle happens.

An alliance that promises hope and a new beginning had obviated three months before its second anniversary. It suddenly feels like death after a tsunami.

Bersatu’s withdrawal from the PH government mathematically spells the end of an alliance that came together to rid the country of a corrupt government. More than four decades of political rivalries were buried only to see internal infightings, political manoeuvrings and obsession to break up the alliance.

PKR, a key component of the alliance, is in tatters too. Its deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and nine other MPs quit the party yesterday, creating a new block in Parliament, nailing the final nail into the PH government’s coffin.

It has been months that Azmin and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim have been at loggerheads over policies, leadership and support for Dr Mahathir. Their differences had split the party, leading to the weekend’s political gerrymandering with unlikely friends from Umno, PAS and parties from East Malaysia.

The demand from some within the inner circle of PKR for Dr Mahathir to set a date to hand over the power to Anwar has been one of the black spots in the alliance. The current political upheaval, if anybody to be blamed, a certain measure can be attributed to PKR.

DAP, which is the second-biggest component in the Alliance of Hope, has been largely neutral, but could have taken a firmer stand on the country’s leadership. A few of its

MPs had demanded Dr Mahathir to resign and the criticisms levelled were worse than partisan politics. DAP is facing a severe trust deficit within the Malay community, which accounts for 62% of the population.

Failure to block the noises from within the party further widens the trust deficit. A leader is only a leader if he is able to bring the masses to its fold. It was the party’s faux pas.

DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng said the party would continue to nominate Dr Mahathir as the PM. But such endorsement could be too little too late.

Parti Amanah Negara has also thrown its support behind Dr Mahathir, but he is now a man without any political party, a situation he is accustomed to. Malaysia is a country without a “legitimate” government, a country embroiled in racial politics and narcissistic politicians who are self-obsessed with their own ambition.

All eyes will be on the King. An MP with the majority support of the house will lead the nation. But this political chaos will be repeated for as long as leaders put their senseless and egomaniacal agenda above the nation.

Mohamad Azlan Jaafar is the editor-in-chief of The Malaysian Reserve.