Opposition too fractious to form grand coalition: observers
The meeting between former prime ministers Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has triggered predictions of a new grand coalition underway, but analysts believe cooperation between rivalling opposition parties is unlikely in the coming general election (GE15).
(The Vibes) – The political observers pointed to the fractious relationships between Muhyiddin-led Bersatu and its offshoot Pejuang, helmed by Dr Mahathir, as well as their former allies in Pakatan Harapan.
The analysts noted a lack of cohesion between the likes of Bersatu, Pejuang, and Bersatu, as well as the Pakatan Harapan (PH) component parties – PKR, DAP, and Amanah – after the Sheraton Move in early 2020 that led to the collapse of the PH federal government.
They said Muhyiddin’s efforts to regain the helm may be futile, while the possibility of opposition parties coming together to form a minority government is also far-fetched.
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia geostrategist Prof Azmi Hassan said leadership structure is the biggest hurdle opposition parties face in forming a coalition.
He said Muhyiddin would need to square off with PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to become the opposition leader and prime minister-designate.
“If Anwar cannot gain support as the prime minister, Muhyiddin can take his place, but the opposition has to resolve this problem first before any umbrella concept can be achieved,” he told The Vibes.
“Even within PH, internal conflicts have been seen during the polls in Melaka and Johor, where DAP lost many seats, and PKR failed to gain any footholds.”
Even if the estranged opposition parties band together under a single banner, Azmi said, their focus on defeating Barisan Nasional (BN) could backfire.
He added that the goal of defeating BN would be seen as a “compliment” by BN’s core supporters as it reflected the coalition’s ability to form a government.
He said those favouring BN could then consolidate their support for the coalition, and former loyalists who voted for the opposition in 2018 would return to the fold.
“The fence-sitters, on the other hand, want a stable government. So if the opposition talks about defeating BN as its main agenda, the fence-sitters would vote for BN.