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Better for Pakatan to bolster base than form grand coalition, say analysts

KUALA LUMPUR — Pakatam Harapan (PH) should focus on strengthening its parties — Democratic Action Party (DAP), People's Justice Party (PKR) and the National Trust Party (Amanah) — rather than form another grand coalition, said analysts.

Pakatan Harapan should focus on strengthening itself rather than form another grand coalition, analysts say.

Pakatan Harapan should focus on strengthening itself rather than form another grand coalition, analysts say.

KUALA LUMPUR — Pakatan Harapan (PH) should focus on strengthening its parties — Democratic Action Party (DAP), People's Justice Party (PKR) and the National Trust Party (Amanah) — rather than form another grand coalition, said analysts. 

The idea bears little meaning to the public as it is unexplained and somewhat pointless if key opposition figures such as Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Mr Anwar Ibrahim continue trading barbs in public. 

“The original idea, proposed by Amanah and DAP, was to have 108 opposition MPs reject Budget 2021,” said Ilham Centre director Hisommudin Bakar. 

“This means it would have to include MPs from PH, Pejuang, Warisan, Upko, Parti Sarawak Bersatu and even Muda. And this includes Dr Mahathir as well. 

“But ever since Dr Mahathir’s open rejection of Anwar, everything has gone south,” said the pollster.

Since then both Pejuang and PKR supporters have begun attacking each other, making it very hard to envisage another partnership, he added.

“For the public, the idea of a grand coalition itself doesn’t carry any meaning. It only strengthens their belief the opposition is disunited.

“As such, I believe the idea of a grand coalition is all but dead for now, and PH is better off reorganising itself to face the 15th general election on its own,” said Mr Hisommudin.

Dr Mahathir, although with the opposition, is no longer part of PH. He may no longer excite voters, especially those who supported PH in 2018 on his promise that he would hand over the Malaysian prime minister’s post to Mr Anwar, who is PH chairman.

Universiti Malaya’s Professor Awang Azman Awang Pawi said Malay voters in Peninsular Malaysia only voted for PH with the belief that Mr Anwar would succeed Dr Mahathir as prime minister. 

“But when Dr Mahathir resigned without consulting his PH partners and wanted to form his own unity government, it meant he had crossed the mandate that was given.

“I don’t believe Malay voters would still back Dr Mahathir as he is more of a liability now,” said the Malay ethnic studies lecturer.  

Prof Awang Azman said PH would be better off strengthening its own base. 

Alternatively, if it really wanted to pursue the idea of a grand coalition, an agreement with United Malays National Organisation (Umno) might be a better consideration than with the yet-to-be registered Pejuang, he suggested.

“PH doesn’t need any grand coalition if they are strong. And even if they want to form a grand coalition, they should be thinking of Umno as the latter has more seats.

“PH only needs a few more Malay votes, and it makes more sense to work with Umno than Pejuang as the latter’s future is unclear due to its registration issues,” said Prof Awang Azman. 

The idea of PH collaborating with Umno is not new, as it was raised by Perak DAP chief Nga Kor Ming in December when the state was without a menteri besar.

This was after Bersatu’s Ahmad Faizal Azumu was ousted through a confidence motion brought by a state Umno rep in the legislative assembly. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

Related topics

Malaysia Pakatan Harapan Malaysian politics Mahathir Mohamad Anwar Ibrahim

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