Déjà vu for Pakatan Harapan? What sets Umno apart from Bersatu

But most importantly, in my opinion, is the fact that if BN were to “pull a Bersatu”, they would be condemned for causing yet another round of volatility at a time when the current administration already enjoys a majority that is one seat short of two-thirds.

Syaza Shukri, Sinar Daily

Barisan Nasional (BN) won 30 seats in the 15th General Election (GE15), but it was able to convince the prime minister to award six ministerial and another six deputy ministerial positions to its party members, including to two who are appointed senators (as opposed to winning a seat via ballot).

They have been called the “kingmaker” because the moment BN decided to pull its support from the Madani government, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) are most likely to follow suit, leaving Pakatan Harapan (PH) with the 81 seats won under the coalition’s banner. This is déjà vu.

The difference between then and now is that Bersatu was officially part of PH whereas BN is its own independent coalition. Nevertheless, there is no denying the almost similar conundrum that BN finds itself in today, which is trying to convince the Malay community that PH does not harbour any animosity against the community.

In 2018 and 2019, PH was under a lot of pressure due to the combined forces of Umno and Pas within the Muafakat Nasional alleging that Malay rights were eroding under a government that included the DAP. As a party that claims to represent Malay interests, of course Bersatu would feel the most heat and decided to leave the ruling coalition in one of multiple hotel moves we’ve had in the country.

Why am I rehashing a not-so-distant history that might still sting many – both Pakatan supporters and detractors? Because there’s worry in the air that BN would “pull a Bersatu” and leave the Madani government with no parliamentary majority to rule the nation.

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