Written by Wong Choon Mei, Politics Now! Malaysia Chronicle
KUALA LUMPUR (Politics Now!) – The sun will have to rise from the West before the Chinese will vote for a hardline Muslim-centric party like Pas party and by extension its ally such as the Malay-centric Bersatu party. And this analysis is not wrong even though in the past ethnic Chinese, who form about a quarter of Malaysia’s multiracial population, have supported both parties.
Yet it also does not mean that embattled Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, or PMX as he is often called, and his multiracial Pakatan Harapan coalition consisting of DAP, Amanah and his own PKR parties are safe from being thrown out of power.
“Trust is the key word and the Chinese have zero trust for a Pas led by Hadi Awang and the same for a Bersatu led whether Muhyiddin Yassin or Hamzah Zainuddin. Too many hurtful things have been said by these guys against them,” a political analyst told Politics Now!
“So does this mean Pas and Bersatu will be weakened? Of course not because they depend from day one on Malay votes and if non-Malays get disappointed by Anwar’s weak performance as well as DAP’s ineffectiveness, so too do the Malays. They too depend on the economy, the ringgit and jobs. Their sympathy is now with Bersatu and if Bersatu disappoints them like Umno did, then they will go to Pas – not to Anwar whom they still dislike and distrust, just as the Chinese distrust Pas and Bersatu.”
POLITICAL STABILITY STILL FAR OFF, SUDDEN POWER CHANGES LIKELY
According to the analyst, Umno in particular its president Zahid Hamidi was the “linchpin” and if Zahid lost control, Anwar and Pakatan could find themselves out of power in a trice.
“The overall sentiment in Umno is still very anti-Zahid, anti-Anwar and anti-DAP. If not for Zahid, they will realign with Bersatu and Pas. Abang Jo’s GPS and GRS, which is said to have Musa Aman’s patronage, will surely follow Umno and PN.” said the analyst.
“Pakatan will be back to being an opposition with 82 seats. When elections are called, they will lose even more seats. The biggest losers would be Anwar’s PKR party and also Amanah. Even DAP will lose and if MCA is brave enough, now is a good time for them to try to regain some credibility. The Chinese are starting to realize it’s not good to put all your eggs in one basket.”
Indeed Anwar’s much-criticized ploy of getting Bersatu MPs to declare support for him in exchange for federal funding may backfire badly on him. More Bersatu MPs may follow in the footsteps of their five notorious colleagues but when push comes to shove, all of them can renounce Anwar again despite having collected money for their constituencies.
5-YEAR HONEYMOON JUST AS DAMAGING
It looks like political stability is still far off for Malaysia. A five-year honeymoon for the underperforming Anwar and Pakatan is just as damaging to the country’s economic prospects as a return to power by the bigoted Bersatu-Pas-Umno alliance.
“The non-Malays are very afraid of Pas,” James Chin of the University of Tasmania was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today. “They are afraid of Islamic law because PAS has made it very clear that the law will be first introduced to Muslims – and then sooner or later, everybody will go through it regardless of whether you are a Muslim or not.”
“The sun will perhaps rise from the west before Chinese voters will support PAS and, by extension, PN,” said Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.
WHITHER MALAYSIA – ALREADY SLIPPING 2 RUNGS IN ASEAN GDP RANKING, OVERTAKEN BY PHILIPPINES & VIETNAM
So wither Malaysia? The Malay vote in Peninsular or West Malaysia and not the non-Malay vote determines the federal government.
Perhaps figures now still hiding their hand may emerge and new bold power equations may have to be written to take Malaysia out of its current quagmire.
But for sure, the days of Anwar are numbered and the zenith has been hit by DAP, seen to be complicit with Anwar in overhyping up their capability and prowess but in the end, perhaps proved to be as ineffective as those they compared themselves with in the past.
Under Anwar and Pakatan’s watch, Malaysia’s GDP have slipped to 6th place out of the 10 ASEAN economies in 2023, according to data from the IMF (October database) – behind Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines and Vietnam.
In 2022, it was at 4th place behind Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s bustling and friendly capital city, is ranked only the 8th – behind Indonesian, Vietnamese, Thai and Filipino cities.
The future does look bleak. Perhaps Malaysia wasted too many decades on racial politicking, spent too many years under leaders so unscrupulous they only knew how to pit the Malays against the non-Malays instead of uniting the country to forge ahead.
Whatever the reason, time may have finally run out. One way or another, a new script for the country will be written – be it in Jawi (Arabic language), Malay or English – and this is unstoppable. Maybe this is why there has been a capital flight and the ringgit is trolling its lowest ever in history.
Is there time to give Anwar, PKR, DAP and Amanah a five-year honeymoon?
Written by Wong Choon Mei, Politics Now! & Malaysia Chronicle
Politics Now! Malaysia Chronicle