Last week MCA and MIC have reaffirmed their commitment to Barisan Nasional as partners to the coalition after ironing out disagreements with UMNO. UMNO side lining problematic was the first step for the coalition partners working together and working with PAS to move ahead towards GE15. UMNO too formalised it’s relationship with PAS after two successful by-election outcomes.
The reaction from Pakatan Harapan side was swift and furious. Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng claimed that UMNO-PAS alliance is a “declaration of war on non-Malays”. Nga Ker Ming eagerly claimed that if UMNO and PAS united Malaysia would become “a Taliban-like state”.
Liew Chin Tong claimed in an article published in Free Malaysia Today, that the aim of the UMNO – PAS alliance is to “flank attack” is to make both Malays and non-Malays feel aggravated and deprived “. DAP stalwart, Lim Kit Siang, also came up with a racial under-toned post claiming the alliance would be used to “demonise DAP as anti-Malay and anti-Islam”.
Quite the irony since all the comments what were “anti-Malay and anti-Islam” came from DAP leaders!
Since losing the GE14, neither Barisan Nasional, UMNO or PAS has come up with anything closely mentioned by the DAP leaders. Despite all the hype, even the ICERD rally having nearly 1.5 million Malays attending was the most peaceful rally in Malaysia.
Despite all the talk pre GE14, the stark reality for Pakatan Harapan government is that it has been having a real hard time not only governing but also convincing the public of its lack of ability to effect reforms. Last week Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah said that compulsory vaccinations for children will not be done despite growing threats to school children from parents who do not vaccinate their children.
An observer questioned “how is this any different from the smoking ban? You force one down people’s throat but refused to act when it comes to children. Isn’t both about choice ? “
After two by-election losses and probably a third in Rantau, Pakatan Harapan isn’t reading the emotions from the public.
Many are angry because the government that Pakatan Harapan had inherited has gone downhill. Malaysia has become unattractive for investors so much that the stock market has dropped more than 15% losing more than 200 billion net outflow since GE14. Just one year before the elections the economy was booming under the helm of Najib Razak.
The main grouses of the public has been largely ignored by the government keen on playing politics of race and blaming everything on Najib and Barisan Nasional.
Pakatan Harapan needs to step up the efforts to regain the confidence of the public. Political analyst have already started claiming that the UMNO-PAS alliance spells doom for the coalition. The coalition is still obsessed with Najib Razak so much so it campaigned against Najib in the last two by-elections.
The reality is that the public is less worried about the UMNO-PAS alliance and is more concerned about the lack of governance and the constant infighting. It’s as if the ministers do not talk to each other and give out contradicting statements.
Time is running out for Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional’s alliance with PAS should be least of its worries.