Was Pakatan Harapan dead on arrival?

Pakatan Harapan

Whatever happens in PKR, opposition politics will never be the same again

Scott Ng, Free Malaysia Today

Perhaps it really was doomed from the start. Cynicism has been following Pakatan Harapan since its launch last month. Indeed, nothing seems to be going its way. From miscommunication between allies to PAS’ refusal to cooperate, the new Pakatan’s brief history has been lined with missteps.

The latest and perhaps most devastating blow to the fledgling coalition was this week’s talk of division in PKR, with one faction preferring PAS as a partner and the other committed to Pakatan Harapan. The pro-PAS faction claims that Pakatan Harapan was hastily put together and not enough time was taken to work out a compromise with the Islamist party.

The pro-PAS faction has a point. The party is an invaluable ally, given its appeal to rural and conservative voters. Cutting ties with such a rich vote bank will only ensure that Pakatan Harapan will never reach Putrajaya. However, some pundits have framed the dissension as Azmin Ali’s grab for power, given that only Wan Azizah stands between him and the party presidency.

But really, what a shame. We all remember the 2008 political tsunami, and the hope it gave us that the government would now be checked and kept honest by a viable opposition for the first time in our country’s history. We could hear the footsteps of change that had been so long in coming, and we rejoiced and stood behind Pakatan Rakyat.

But the honeymoon was soon over. PAS and DAP went their separate ways and PKR slid into irrelevance.