Pakatan Harapan starts off with unfortunate misstep


The coalition must master its own internal communications before it can hope to communicate to the public.

Scott Ng, Free Malaysia Today

To describe the launching of Pakatan Harapan (PH) and its announcement that the imprisoned Anwar Ibrahim is its sole candidate for Prime Minister as somewhat underwhelming would be to do it kindness. After all, having just come out of mourning over the death of Pakatan Rakyat, we were expecting the new coalition to show that it is viable and full of potential, and that is something that is not achieved by pinning all hope on Anwar’s leadership again.

However, that is an issue many have talked about already.

Before the new Pakatan can move forward, it must ensure that at least its communication system is in order, given that the old Pakatan perished essentially because of the lack of a mature, structured communication system. Many pundits are of the opinion that the conflict between PAS and DAP could have been resolved with a mediator who commanded respect in both parties, but alas, the lack of communication led to the two parties sniping at each other in the media, and the practice is still alive and well several months after PR’s demise.

So the opposition must forgive those of us with reasonable doubts, given that just a few days ago a miscommunication occurred and several PH representatives misrepresented Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) in the media, and then blamed the snafu on information they received from Pakatan Harapan leader Wan Azizah Ismail.

PH jumped right out of the gate and fell on its own face. While this incident alone does not mean that PH is not a viable coalition, or that it is an incompetent one, it does look like a teething problem that should have been resolved eight years ago, when PKR, DAP and PAS announced they were forming an electoral pact. But we’ve seen that internal communications can go wrong even today. This can only mean that there is no coherent structure within the opposition.