Pakatan Harapan is not just plagued by endless internal conflicts, there are intrinsic problems with each of the component parties.
Despite the fact PPBM has worked very hard for the past 18 months to keep the bumi-first policy intact, hold back from ratifying ICERD and organise the Malay dignity congress, it has lost even more Malay votes it the most recent by-elections in Semenyih and Tanjung Piai.
The party only has Tun Mahathir to look up to, and none of its ministers has done anything to help boost the party’s Malay support as they are only good at unrealistic things like flying car, free school breakfasts and motorbike e-hailing.
It doesn’t matter whether Tun Mahathir is going to reshuffle his cabinet or taking in former Umno leaders, the reality is that he will not be able to reverse PPBM’s weaknesses. This explains why the prime minister has remained indecisive over the anticipated cabinet reshuffle,
Prior to this, Tun Mahathir has come up with all sorts of strategies to rope in Umno reps and suppress his political rivals. Nevertheless, with Umno now having officially sealed the ties with PAS coupled with PPBM’s thumping defeat in Tanjung Piai, Mahathir has missed the golden opportunity to bring Umno reps to his side.
Under the rivals’ “Muslim grand unity” slogan, there is strong likelihood the PPBM boat will overturn come the next general elections. There isn’t much time on Mahathir’s side any more.
PPBM must check the conservative tide now ravaging the Malay rural areas within the next three years while trying to win the full endorsement of the country’s civil service and implementing programs that will help the rural poor. The party must also come up with more effective new discourse to attract the Malay voters or it will continue to be led by the nose by Umno-PAS.
PPBM’s grassroots organisation is no match for the opposition. As if that is not enough, resistance from civil servants — a classical example being the police’s rejection of IPCMC — will make it an uphill task for the party to turn the tide around.
Even though PKR is currently the largest party in the PH coalition, it will be reduced to a minor partner in the event of a division. Anwar Ibrahim has all this while been trying to calm things down, but what if Azmin Ali holds a rally to counter the party’s annual convention on December 6?
No doubt PKR has very noble aspirations but these have now become crippled as a consequence of factional conflicts. The male sex video scandal has yet to be settled and the party’s infighting has entailed the issue of corruption as highlighted by the involvement of Bera division chief Zakaria Abdul Hamid in vote-buying scandal during last year’s party elections, including pledging RM20,000 in engineering contracts and RM300,000 in allocations.
The factional conflicts within PKR has protruded the leadership’s incompetency in preventing such things from snowballing into the monstrous disaster it has become today.
Anwar is now treading on thin ice. While on the one hand he is worried Azmin will take away with him a group of MPs, on the other hand he is also afraid he may not get to become the prime minister eventually. He now has both his hands tied down, no longer able to command respect from his party.
The strength of DAP, meanwhile, peaked after the 2018 general elections but the party has since got detached from the people. Its support base becomes shaky and the party is headed for a downward slide.
The biggest things DAP has accomplished so far have been allocations for Chinese schools including unprecedented allocations for independent high schools, as well as undisbursed allocations for Chinese national-type secondary schools. However, the party has failed to address the many problems related to Chinese education in this country, including perennial teacher shortage, utility bills and the teaching of Jawi calligraphy in SJKCs, among others.
The drastic cut in TAR UC’s allocations has met with powerful backlash from MCA, and squabbles between the two parties will not do DAP any good, as the public feel that as a ruling party, DAP should spend more time and effort on doing the right things instead.
That said, the complete separation of education from politics will not outweigh things like revitalising the country’s economy, alleviating the burden of the people, stopping the continued downfall of the local currency, addressing the issues of Lynas, public safety and unemployment, in addition to matriculation quota and UEC recognition.
The Malaysian Chinese community has always considered Chinese education as a unitary non-partisan entity. Unfortunately DAP has become so engrossed with the TAR UC issue, hence alienating itself from the local Chinese community.
DAP supporters are more concerned about when the PH government will honour its election promise, not TAR UC’s management.
If the party has not done anything wrong, why did Tanjung Piai’s Chinese voters turn their backs on PH?
DAP’s most urgent task now is to consolidate its fundamental support base and do what is right before it gets too late.
As for Amanah, it may not be able to fight PAS alone due to an apparent lack of clear directions and strong grassroots networks. It manages to become a part of the government through the support of the other three allies. Amanah will fall flat if anything goes wrong with the other three parties.
According to the worry index released by Emir Research, only 24% of Malaysians believe PH is a trustworthy government, with the Chinese — its most supportive community — standing at only 37%.