Pakatan’s crisis still exists

Pakatan Breakup

Sin Chew Daily

The Federal Court will deliver its verdict on the final appeal of PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to set aside his five-year jail sentence for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan today. Anwar’s fate is not only closely related to the future of Pakatan Rakyat, but will also affect the country’s political situation. Therefore, the meeting held by supreme leaders of the three component parties of Pakatan Rakyat the day before yesterday had become the focus of the people.

As we all know, Pakatan Rakyat has been facing a chaotic situation over the past few months. The Selangor MB crisis had almost collapsed Pakatan Rakyat, while pushing the coalition to the edge of split. Wars of words followed when PAS wanted to implement the hudud law in Kelantan and the DAP wanted to restore local government election in Penang, severely affecting the relations among the three component parties.

Pakatan Rakyat has been troubled by its infighting. PAS has gone against the PKR then DAP, causing the top leadership conference to be on stall for six months. Therefore, what the people were most concerned about the Pakatan Rakyat leadership council meeting held the day before yesterday was, could the three component parties put aside differences and restore cooperation?

However, the long-awaited meeting was obviously held just because of Anwar. The meeting was held only for one and a half hours and only one issue was mentioned at the press conference after the meeting, namely a joint statement announcing regardless of whether Anwar will be sent to jail, Pakatan Rakyat will stay on. The meeting did not discuss about the hudud law and local government election issues, but just decided to bring the issues to another special meeting to be scheduled.

It is worth noting that although PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had attended the meeting and signed the joint statement, he was absent from the post-meeting press conference. Anwar claimed that Hadi Awang had rushed for another event, but people could not help but speculate the true intention.

PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub said that he is confident that the three component parties will convene a special meeting within a month to find solutions for the hudud law and local government election controversies. However, signs showed that regardless of Anwar’s fate, the cooperation relations among the three component parties will face severe tests and challenges, particularly when it comes to the hudud law issue, it is impossible for PAS to give up its ideology and ultimate goal, while it is also impossible for the DAP to compromise either, making the issue the last straw that might collapse the coalition. If the “post-Anwar” era comes earlier, how are PAS and the DAP going to continue working together without the mediation of Anwar? How will the three component parties continue to stay on?

Another worth observing subsequent development is, PAS is now facing internal view differences over its direction. The view differences between the moderates and the conservatives have become increasingly obvious. Would it lead to a split?

Meanwhile, after the differences between PAS and the DAP surfaced, many DAP grassroots and supporters think that PAS has become a burden to the party, even a poison to the coalition and thus, it is better to part as soon as possible. It is the grassroots voice that the DAP must face.

It is foreseeable that if all the contradictions are unable to be solved, even if the three component parties are able to stay on in the next general election and seem to be able to escape the split crisis, it must still pay a huge price of losing votes. It also means that the regime change dream of Pakatan Rakyat and the much expected two-party system will leave us farther and farther away!