In a move that surprised no one, the leaders of Pakatan Harapan continue capitulated and refused to take up Tun M’s challenge.
His appearance at the controversial Malay Unity Congress early last month, should have been the last straw for Pakatan Harapan.
Despite the continued posturing and incompetence of him and his party – Pakatan still refuses to take action.
This time however, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s objection to handing over of power is a new low in the ongoing drama that is transition from PM-7 to PM-8.
Mahathir’s has basically trampled upon the spirit of the transition agreement – that was signed by all component parties of Pakatan Harapan before GE14.
No one needs to be reminded that the narrative was always that Mahathir would only serve as interim PM, while the coalition worked to ensure that PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s fulfilled the requirements needed to assume the premiership.
For the more ideological of the voter base, Mahathir’s continued belligerence is a clear breach of trust as the voter for Harapan in GE14 on its pledge of changing Malaysia – which included the power transition to Anwar, who has always been seen as the reformasi movement’s leader-in-exile.
But for everyone else, it simply shows that Pakatan is clearly incapable of bringing the change that is so strongly campaigned about in 2018. So much for Malaysia Baru.
In light of this, which compromises the central agreement and nature of the ruling coalition’s structure – its leaders must make a stand.
They need to finally make the old man state his position on this issue clearly and categorically at its next meeting, so the country can finally start moving again.
Besides Mahathir’s latest reason of the country not being ready for a transition ignores the fundamental promise that was offered by Pakatan Harapan in the first place. As someone commented, Mahathir’s own transition to power from Hussein Onn in July 1981 and his passing of the torch to Badawi in 2003 hardly caused any ripples or problems from an administrative standpoint.
He needs to deal with the fact that political freedom raises peoples’ expectations for economic and social opportunities. As such the success of Pakatan Harapan relies on whether they can show that materially improve the lives of everyday Malaysians. Considering Malaysia’s performance lately, there’s little wonder that the nostalgia of “Bossku” becomes increasingly appealing.
Pakatan needs to take care to go back to basics and build its credentials as a reformist government. There should be no more u-turns – no more empty promises. It needs to build a people-centric social welfare system that shows that they as a government care.
And they should be frank with themselves and rein in the racial pandering represented by Mahathir’s PPBM – which has done nothing but diminish the coalition’s relationship with voters of all races.
Coming in after months of disappointments from the failure to recognize the United Examination Certificate (UEC) for vernacular schools, the inclusion of khat calligraphy , and the funding cuts to the MCA-owned Tun Abdul Rahman University College, the abject refusal to extradite the fugitive firebrand Islamist preacher Zahir Naik back to India – pandering to Mahathir’s ambitions is the last thing on the coalition’s plate.
Whether it’s pride or otherwise – more will stay the same. This can no longer be the case.
Our economy will continue to falter. Prices of goods will continue to rise and discontent will simmer under the surface.
Taking a look at the wave of protests we see across the world today, there needs concrete action by the government to resolve issues that really matter to the people.
This is the kind of game that Pakatan is playing with us – I for one have had enough of this.
Tanjung Piai showed that many among us may feel that way too.