by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic by BERNAMA
THE ball is in Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) court to decide on its next political direction or risk breaking up the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
Political analysts believe PH needs to resolve its internal matters soon. The fragility of the Opposition bloc will boost the image of the Perikatan Nasional government, despite the latter having a razorthin majority support.
The recent disagreement between PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and former Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the future PM candidate signalled that the unity of PH may be threatened.
Dr Mahathir said he will only work with other PH component parties — DAP and Parti Amanah Negara — to regain the federal government, by tabling a no-confidence motion in Dewan Rakyat soon.
“Currently, Anwar is trying to attract DAP and Amanah, while both parties are also trying to hold support they have from Dr Mahathir.
“If PKR fails, then PH will either split up, or PH will remain but without PKR,” Prof Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani of Universiti Utara Malaysia told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) yesterday.
“It must be noted that PKR has a supporter base, so we will have to wait (and see) how PKR wants to manoeuvre this situation. So far, we could not see any (moves).”
Currently, PKR holds 38 parliamentary seats, lower than its ally DAP with 42 seats.
The coalition had a meeting with Dr Mahathir, who represents five MPs from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, and Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal to gather a simple majority of 112 lawmakers out of the total 222.
According to media reports, PH, including Dr Mahathir’s bloc had agreed to name Anwar as the PM. However, it was speculated that Anwar could not get enough support, mainly from East Malaysia.
Anwar has been “PM in waiting” twice under Dr Mahathir’s tenure, first in 1998 and second in 2020.
Bersatu supreme council member Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi said Anwar has been given the chance twice to prove that he could get enough support to become the PM — the first time was in late February when PH named Anwar as their PM candidate instead of Dr Mahathir.
“So, Anwar should be mindful that our opportunity had already been squandered before in the very recent past and let’s not squander the opportunity again,” Akhramsyah told TMR.
He insisted that it is high time for PH to regain its support and take over the federal administration as soon as possible amid a series of political appointments at government-linked companies which would reverse PH’s agenda in instilling good governance.
Universiti Sains Malaysia Professor of Political Sociology Dr Sivamurugan Pandian, however, said DAP and Amanah must decide whether they want to move forward with Anwar or Dr Mahathir. Failing which, PH may lose its grip on the political landscape.
“(The fallout of PH) is not happening yet, but it is also confusing how Amanah and DAP reacted as they still want Anwar as well and Dr Mahathir at the same time.
“What matters now for PH is if general election is held soon, the six months projection to have between Anwar and Dr Mahathir will not happen at all.
“So, PH must decide to only have one leader and move forward or still try to negotiate for both, which will not happen I think.
“This is because both Anwar and Dr Mahathir have already decided that they cannot work together,” Sivamurugan said.
“It is also difficult to see both working together again as what we saw in 2018 because it does not only involve these two personalities, but also DAP and Amanah’s final stance. That will determine the future of PH.”