“Outrageous to expect Pakatan to just forget Bersatu’s treachery”

THE “big tent” approach or some other kind of alliance between Pakatan Harapan (Pakatan) and those opposed to UMNO-BN such as Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), PAS and others might be an attempt to think “out of the box”.

It might be even described as an ingenious way to integrate the those opposed to UMNO under one-fold. A “big tent” approach may avoid the pitfalls of a formal alliance to take-on the might of BN.

However, for an informal grouping to take place, the necessity of cooperation must outweigh the reasons of not to and I do not see that happening as the differences between Pakatan and Bersatu, or even PAS, seems unbridgeable.

It is not so much the alliance or partial alliance between the coalitions per se. For example, we have to consider the bad blood between PKR and the faction in Bersatu aligned to Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Ideological differences aside, many in Pakatan are unable to forgive and forget Bersatu’s betrayal. How can one expect us to forget the infamous Sheraton Move which collapsed the Pakatan Government?

Yes, it is great and magnanimous to talk about politics as being the art of possibility but surely there are limits to this lofty thought.

Remember, the traitors stealthily used race and religious extremism to collapse a legitimately elected government. Parties like PAS could not accept that DAP was part of the Government back then.

Why not “small tent”?

And that extreme view laid the basis for the formation of the Perikatan Nasional Government. So, how can anyone expect the DAP or Pakatan by extension to just forget about what happened? Is politics so cheap and degrading that the Sheraton Move could be just forgotten overnight just so “big tent” talks can happen?

In my view, for an Oppositional alliance to take shape, the political enemy must be so bad that it would necessitate friendship with those who are opposed to the political enemy.

But can anyone tell me if there are any real differences between UMNO, Bersatu and PAS? Aren’t these parties the stumbling block in creating a formidable coalition to take on BN, as envisaged by Pakatan? Why can’t we just focus on strengthening Pakatan instead?

In any case, the exclusion of Bersatu and PAS does not necessarily mean we dismiss other parties that are friendly to Pakatan.

Instead of “big tent”, perhaps a “small tent” approach may be feasible for now given the recent turn of events. – April 30, 2022


Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is the state assemblyperson for Perai. He is also deputy chief minister II of Penang.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE