Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Pakatan spats just teething issues, say analysts

KUALA LUMPUR — The recent public spats between Malaysian ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan leaders are symptomatic of a coalition government with components that have yet to truly unite and find their footing, said analysts.

Leaders from opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition at the PH convention.

Leaders from opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition at the PH convention.

KUALA LUMPUR — The recent public spats between Malaysian ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan leaders are symptomatic of a coalition government with components that have yet to truly unite and find their footing, said analysts.

Last week, PH leaders attacked each other after Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman called for the sacking of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waytha Moorthy, for allegedly inflaming racial tensions following the violence at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Subang Jaya late last month.

Penang Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy ticked off Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq, who refused to apologise for speaking out.

Sarawak DAP Youth publicity secretary Abdul Aziz Isa entered the fray, branding Syed Saddiq an “opportunist” who is “playing to the gallery”.

Political and economic analyst Dr Hoo Ke Ping said infighting is “naturally expected” of a coalition with little to no experience governing together as one.

“Between the parties, this is the first time they’ve ever sat down to form a government. Most of them are inexperienced, including (Deputy Prime Minister) Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. (PKR president) Anwar Ibrahim was away from the government for almost 20 years, while (DAP supremo) Lim Kit Siang was previously never in the government,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

“So, they lack cohesiveness compared to Barisan Nasional, which had 60 years’ experience. They (PH) lack cohesion, and it’s normal.”

Acknowledging that it is too soon to expect PH to become accustomed to being the government, he said the pact must nevertheless quickly overcome its teething issues.

PH leaders, such as Mr Lim and Mr Anwar, have called for a stop to the infighting, and focus on developing the country.

Political analyst Associate Professor Awang Azman Awang Pawi said PH is testing voters’ patience with the squabbles, especially after it failed to make good on its election promises, such as bringing down the cost of living.

“If this continues and PH is focused on these kinds of problems instead of real governance, then PH will be a government that is not strong, not focused on its real direction and this will cause its popularity, as well as people’s confidence in it, to decline.”

He said the ruling pact has so far been “saved” from the people’s judgment because the opposition, especially Umno, is also weak.

PH is not under pressure to perform as Umno is on the verge of collapse following the defections of several MPs recently, he said, adding that the Islamist PAS does not appeal to middle-ground Malaysians.

“This is why our country needs a strong opposition to provide checks and balances.

“However, this is not happening because Umno leaders themselves are not confident about being a strong opposition. Some were even willing to defect for their own benefit.”

Following the May 9 general election, more than 20 Umno lawmakers have quit BN. Many have joined PH component Bersatu, led by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and others have sworn fealty to the government. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.