By K. Sudhagaran Stanley
THE Pakatan Harapan coalition is now in a deadlock over its choice of candidate for the Prime Minister’s position.
While there is an urgent need to topple the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government and hand back power to the rightfully elected government, the Pakatan leaders are wasting precious time fighting over the choice of candidate for the premiership.
Bad governance practices by the PN government is destroying this country. This is tantamount of taking Malaysia back into the dark ages when Umno reigned supreme.
However, our Pakatan leaders are unable to unite by devising a concrete strategy to wrestle back power.
For a starter, it is time we move on from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. In fact, many Malaysians were shocked when DAP and Parti Amanah Negara made the decision to support Mahahir to lead the country once again even after all the mess that he has created.
I am stunned at how DAP or Amanah could overlook the underlying factor that led to the break-up of Pakatan. Mahathir is the very reason for the fall of the coalition.
It was Mahathir who appointed former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali into cabinet and gave him so much power. This was his dirty game to keep PKR de factor leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at bay.
It was Mahathir who attended the infamous Malay dignity congress and gave credit to the propaganda that Malays were under threat. He allowed that propaganda to mature.
Mahathir did not put a stop to discussion by his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) members on leaving Pakatan in the event the PH component party pushes hard on the transition plan.
He played safe and took the wait and see approach. He even allowed Azmin to talk to him about the betrayal plan. He failed to put a stop to this nonsense at the spot.
Malaysians are also fed-up with all the flip-flop policies under the Pakatan rule, mainly due to Bersatu’s resistance and playing the Malay sentiment propaganda. Bersatu was stuck in their old Umno mindset and opposed many of the reform agenda in the name of Malay interest.
Deep beneath this entire Malay dignity propaganda was power and control. On one side, UMNO wants to save former PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and the rest of the ‘Alibaba’ gang from the various ongoing prosecutions and trials.
On another side, Bersatu was never sincere on the transition plan by allowing Anwar to take over. Thus, both sides manipulated race and religion that ultimately resulted in the formation of a backdoor government.
New game plan
DAP and Amanah should come to their senses by realising that they are being dragged deep into dirty politics and that they are now part of the dirty game plan.
It is time for them to step away from the mud and return to their principles and reform agenda.
Bersatu has failed and should not be given a second chance whether it is for one or six months. DAP and Amanah should move away from Mahathir and draft a new strategy of their own.
If Mahathir is sincere in saving Malaysia, he would agree to step aside and help bring in the numbers.
On the other hand, Pakatan should also be open to looking at other options if Anwar fails to get the numbers. Among others, the coalition could allocate the deputy prime minister’s post to Sabah and Sarawak.
Or Pakatan could also look beyond Anwar. Why are we stuck to personalities in our fight for reform in the country?
Could Pakatan make a bold move by agreeing to choose Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg from Sarawak as the PM candidate? Or could the coalition agree to choose someone from Sabah for the PM position?
By so doing, Pakatan would win the confidence of both East Malaysian states and be able to continue pursuing its reform agenda. After all, the time has come for both Borneo states to be accorded more importance.
Would Anwar give way in the interest of the nation? Would he assist in making this a reality or does he remain adamant in becoming the Prime Minister?
My personal belief is that a leader from Sabah or Sarawak will be able to unite Malaysians by bringing to the peninsula shores the genuine unity spirit from Borneo. Leaders from both states have impeccable track record on unity.
Whatever the strategy is, we should swiftly move on from past personalities. Each day of rule under PN is a disaster for Malaysians. Stop wasting time and quickly save this country from destruction. – June 27, 2020
Sudhagaran Stanley is a good governance and anti-corruption activist. He writes in his personal capacity.