MO, 8/2/2018 – “Strange”. Lately, Pakatan Harapan, under the leadership of its chairman, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is utilizing certain acts and “magic tricks” in order to garner support.
Despite facing inter and intra party quarrels, these seemed to be hidden in order to portray to the people that Pakatan Harapan is a solid successor of Barisan Nasional (BN). However, it is impossible to keep the quarrels under wraps.
Many have said that it was Dr Mahathir who got Datuk Seri Anwar locked up in jail. Now, Anwar’s family is extremely close to him. More bizarre is how Dr. Mahathir could accept Datin Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the woman with her “magic fan” to be Pakatan Harapan’s candidate for the post of Deputy Prime Minister.
By logic, and following the thoughts and actions of Dr. Mahathir, it is impossible for him to accept this fanned woman as Deputy Prime Minister. In simple terms, we can deduce that there is strategizing behind all this.
A more questionable strategy is, would Dr. Mahathir agree to relinquish the Prime Minister post to Anwar, should Pakatan Harapan come to power? In that instant, can the husband be the Prime Minister and the wife, the Deputy Prime Minister, and the daughter, Senior Minister. Is this not bizzare? The country will not be in jure de facto, but will become double de facto – a government controlled by sons and daughters and family.
We have observed that the relationship between Dr. Mahathir and Anwar has never been amicable throughout their political lives. Even now, we believe that they do not trust each other.
Dr. Mahathir is adamant on visiting Anwar in the hospital. He was probably worried with the meeting and visit of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak which took place before. In his mind, perhaps the Prime Minister and Anwar were planning something. They are suspicious of each other.
The opposition coalition is anxious, as they do not have the de facto that can mobilise the momentum of their coalition. In the 13th General Elections (GE 13) they had Anwar who mobilised the campaign machinery through nationwide rallies.
Now, moving towards to the General Elections, there are no mass gatherings to be proud of. Dr. Mahathir and heavyweight Pakatan Harapan leaders’ lectures have seen the attendance of only around 500 to 800 audiences.
We can guess that parties in Pakatan Harapan are dependent on Dr. Mahathir fundraising for the upcoming General Elections. Perhaps they think that wealthy conglomerates will fund Dr Mahathir in facing the General Elections, and thus they can also have a share of this.
Where would PAN get its funding? As for PKR, Anwar’s current situation has stunted the funding it hopes to get. DAP on the other hand, through its underwater tunnelling project, has hoped to collect commissions, and is this now on hold? Also, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) has foiled this. As a result, while they detest Dr Mahathir, he is presently their only hope.
The redrawing of voting boundaries that is about to be gazetted for the General Elections is causing Pakatan Harapan extreme anxiety. Through these voting boundaries, the Malaysian United Indigenous Party’s (PPBM) chances are critical. In addition, the 52 seats allocated to PPBM happen to be UMNO’s long-term bases, and some are its strongholds.
PPBM is anxious when it has discovered that out of the 52 seats, UMNO has only marginally won about 10. The rest of these seats were solid wins, with certain Parliamentary seats receiving more than 5,000 votes. This worries PPBM top leadership, as they foresee losing badly. After the General Elections, no doubt their supporters, and the party itself will disappear, further adding to their worries.
At the same time, the visit of the Prime Minister to the state of “CIk Siti Wan Kembang” saw encouraging reception. His presence portrays that there exists a bond between the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Kelantan. This development is very much disliked by Pakatan Harapan.
If PAS and UMNO form a coalition for the General Elections, and if supporters of both parties receive this positively, Pakatan Harapan will only have its “fan” left. People will observe that these two Malay parties are cooperating in order to uphold the prestige and dignity of race and religion. This is why the leaders of Pakatan Harapan tirelessly condemn PAS.
They are trying to avoid a three-corner contest. If this takes place, Pakatan Harapan’s chances of winning are very slim, especially in Malay majority areas. PPBM’s hope for example, is on voters who have voted for UMNO before. PAS voters will continue to vote for PAS.
The total number of voters supporting UMNO is still dominant in Malay majority areas, particularly in rural settings. Thus, it is highly likely that PPBM will lose.
The opposition predicts that presently, there are a number of issues that does favour BN. BN is of the view that this reading is not solid. It is the present situation that is making the opposition weep, as Pakatan Harapan is very fragile in the contest and in grabbing opportunities. People view them as a cloth that is patchy and ridden with holes.
Prospective candidates are all that is left. If BN names a suitable and well-liked candidate, Pakatan Harapan only has its “harapan” left. They can continue to listen to Ahmad Jais’ song, “Harapan Kecewa.” “Harapan ku kecewa dalam manis, merdu kata-kata…”
Therefore, we should not be anxious anymore. Let us together work towards building this country under the BN leadership. Do not trust haphazard politics. Even food wouldn’t taste good if it is anxiously and haphazardly prepared.
Datuk Ahmad Faris Abdul Halim is a current affairs analyst.