As Pakatan destroys its own future


Sin Chew Daily

Like a soap opera, the menteri besar crisis in Selangor had attracted viewers’ attention at the beginning but the following bizarre development of the story has become more and more absurd, causing many lose patience to continue following the plot. They either keep watching while cursing, angrily switch channels, or simply turn off the TV.

From being accused of improper handling of party and state government affairs to losing integrity, there are more and more accusations against incumbent Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, and the crisis seems to have snowballed, too. Not only the party’s scandalous problems have been exposed, but in fact, the conflicts among the three component parties of Pakatan Rakyat have also surfaced, leading the coalition into a crisis while making the people think about how the political game affects the future of the country’s democracy.

After the 2008 general election, the shape of two-party system emerged with the rise and coalition of the PKR, DAP and PAS to compete with the BN, which has long been dominating the country’s political arena, on equal terms. It has indeed changed the political landscape of Malaysia.

Pakatan Rakyat became increasingly powerful and it even tried to seize Putrajaya and rule in the 2013 general election. It won 52% of votes but due to the electoral system, constituency and other factors, it won the popular vote but failed to achieve the dream of taking over Putrajaya. Nevertheless, Pakatan Rakyat has still successfully defended Kelantan, Selangor and Penang.

At that time, despite the failure of the Putrajaya plan, the whole international situation and local political trend were favourable to democratic development. As long as Pakatan Rakyat manages to keep the momentum in the last general election, work hard and unite, it will definitely become stronger in the next general election, and changing the regime would then no longer be a fantasy.

Unfortunately, after staging one after another mass movement to protest against unfair election, the PKR, DAP and PAS have immediately been caught in their own party crises. The following hudud law implementation issue in Kelantan has even triggered uproar, causing a serious difference of views within Pakatan Rakyat. The DAP and PAS even attacked each other, exposing the ideological differences of the three component parties, as well as their fragile cooperation foundation.

Needless to say, the menteri besar crisis in Selangor is a test for the PKR, DAP and PAS, as well as a great challenge for Pakatan Rakyat, as it is no longer an infighting involving only a single party, but a big problem of whether the three component parties are able to stay unite under the principle of co-existence amidst differences, and avoid split or even collapse.

Although Pakatan Rakyat has recently issued a statement to clarify rumours while vowing that the coalition will continue fighting under the joint force of the three parties, from the hudud implementation crisis earlier, to today’s Selangor Menteri Besar crisis, the three parties seem in harmony but actually at variance. It is an indisputable fact that the differences among them have expanded. If they do not solve the problem as soon as possible and keep engaging in power struggles in the name of democracy, it is tantamount to playing a political suicide game which will only draw public resentment and destroy its own future!