Possibility of PKR-Umno pact puts DAP in dilemma

(Sun Daily) – WITH 42 MPs, DAP is the biggest party in terms of the number of elected representatives in the Parliament.

The party, which found itself somewhat fettered even during the short stint as part of the federal government, now finds itself at a political crossroads amid talk of a reshuffling of power following PKR chief cum Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s claim that he has the numbers to form the next government.

Think tank Ilham Centre executive director Hisomudin Bakar deems it a real test of DAP’s political stand and principles should Umno switch to support Anwar and Pakatan Harapan (PH), Oriental Daily News reported yesterday.

“If Umno, including its leaders who are implicated in corruption cases, supports PH, can DAP accept them and be part of the new government?”

Hisomudin said in the tussle for power among Anwar, Umno and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, DAP’s decision to either stay with or abandon PH will make or break Anwar’s chance to form the next government.

He pointed out that the “political harassment” carried out by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government against DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng might prompt DAP to opt to be part of the new administration should there be a change in government.

The other option for DAP, he opined, is to become a government-friendly party but not part of the government.

Another analyst, Lim Hong Siang, who heads Saudara.org, a research centre focusing on socio-cultural and religious fields in Malaysia, sees DAP as a passive player in the reshaping of the Malaysian political scenario as Umno does not want to work with the Chinese-dominated party.

Even the more open leaders within Umno are rejecting DAP, he said.

“DAP finds it hard to work with PAS. Gabungan Parti Sarawak as well as Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia are rejecting DAP. So it does not augur well for DAP should it fall out with Anwar.”

Political commentator Phoon Weng Keong said DAP, now caught between a rock and a hard place, must choose carefully which alliance it is going to work with next.

He said the party should be able to keep the Chinese votes if it continues to play the role of the Opposition.

It is better for DAP not to join any alliance if doing so would cost it votes, he added.

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