In perception, we trust

The truth is, PAS, DAP and PKR need each other. To (over)simplify, PAS and DAP now receive votes from each other's political constituents and PKR still relies on the machinery and idea(l)s of its partners to keep the momentum running.

Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is at odds. Again.

If it seems like we've been here before, it's because we have. Every so often, it looks as if PR is about to split apart like its predecessor Barisan Alternatif did in 2001.

This month's issues are alcohol sales and DAP MP Jeff Ooi calling a Jemaah Islah Malaysia leader an extremist. Just last month, DAP had pulled out of the Kedah state government over a pig abattoir as PAS Youth continued to flirt with Umno-PAS unity talks. In Selangor, PKR attacked DAP executive councillors in the Selangor government.

The tripartite pact had also dedicated nearly the entire month of June trying to sort out the mess from the initial unity proposal by PAS's top leadership. In February, DAP chairman Karpal Singh called on opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to resign his post after blaming the PKR supremo for causing the loss of the Perak state government.

And on and on the list goes. Each and every time, Anwar puts on a smile and allays such fears. Last month, he attempted to silence talk of PR members going their own ways by accusing the media of being fascinated with problems in his alliance, saying: “I had been in Barisan a long time and there were many disagreements but it did not make headlines.”

He has a point. There seems to be no such interpretation of Barisan Nasional's (BN) current ails — the slugfest between MCA's top two, Datuk Seris Ong Tee Keat and Dr Chua Soi Lek, and the contrasting views on Internet censorship between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Information and Communication Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim — as crisis moments.

Is not a split in MCA akin to the split in PAS? Are disagreements over a key policy such as Internet censorship not as crucial as disagreements over alcohol sale? Even the wave of MCA and Gerakan grassroots calling for their parties to leave BN last year also failed to capture the imagination of the public.