Pakatan Harapan has finally put together its Dream Team that includes the cream of the opposition camp in the most formidable challenge line-up in the country’s history.
Mahathir and Wan Azizah will be the candidates for PM and DPM respectively, while Anwar Ibrahim is warming up before he joins in after June 8.
In the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the US basketball team suffered a humiliating defeat from the Russians, and pledged to come back in a big way four years later in Barcelona by bringing in top NBA aces in the likes of Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Larry Joe Bird.
This list alone was enough to make the eyeballs of basketball fans worldwide pop up in awe.
PH failed in its 2013 bid to capture Putrajaya, and then PAS opted out. Today, the pact is organizing a new Dream Team that vows to unseat the Najib administration.
The American Dream Team later succeeded in clinching a gold in Barcelona. But, it was not that invincible as people would have expected from them during their earlier days.
The Dream Team lost to the Collegians 54 to 62 shortly before the Barcelona expedition.
Analysts said while individual players were exceptionally skillful, they did not know how to play “as a team”.
Scottie Pippen of Chicago Bulls lamented, “These young kids were killing us. We didn’t know how to play with each other.”
The Dream Team’s first battle brought out their real problem. The players were all great individually, but they had no idea how to play as a team.
The same could have epitomized the potential problem with Malaysia’s opposition camp.
1. Minority over the majority: The party that has the fewest seats is now the opposition pact’s Tai Gor. Some PKR and Amanah state leaders are very unhappy and this is not going to augur well for the pact’s cohesiveness.
Lesser known Milwaukee Bucks had the largest number of players in America’s Dream Team despite their lackluster past performance, much to the frustration of star teams like LA Lakers and Chicago Bulls.
2. Putting excessive emphasis on a single individual could spell a disaster.
Mahathir is the top player in the team. Pakatan has hoped to leverage on his clout to draw traditional Malay votes away from Umno.
But, putting Mahathir on the pedestal sorely offends the civil society fighting hard for democracy, justice and against corruption. This group of people has been working very closely with the opposition for the past two decades, some becoming backbone members of PKR.
Today, they have a feeling they have been betrayed by their leaders just to secure better chances of winning the election.
Chinese Malaysians, most of whom voted for the opposition during the last two elections, are equally skeptical.’
They have gone through the painful days under Mahathir and still have deep feelings over how the country’s Chinese education and minority rights suffered under Mahathir’s regime.
Mahathir’s return to the fore could bring back the nightmarish memories of yesteryear.
3. The PM-DPM choices constitute only a short-term solution.
If Mahathir eventually makes it to the PM office, will he back off in favor of Anwar Ibrahim in one or two years’ time? What will happen if he won’t?
This is not a problem their two families can settle in private, as it involves also the administrative powers of PPBM and PKR. If Mahathir is willing to let go, will PPBM let go of the power in hand? Won’t Muhyiddin and Mukhriz want to take over?
If Anwar finally becomes PM, who will be next? Azmin Ali or Mukhriz?
The interim solution simply lacks long-term viability and stability.
Of course, if these challenges eventually get overcome, who knows they may have a bright future like America’s Dream Team?