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PH & BN Alliance Offers Malaysia Its Best Chance To Build Back – Anwar & Ismail Sabri Offer The Alternative Malaysia Needs

A long wait spanning two dozen years may be about to end as Anwar Ibrahim stands on the cusp of becoming Malaysia’s 10th prime minister.

Yet, for that to happen, the secret pact between him and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, which I wrote about previously, must come to light and be accepted by all.

That time had not yet come when Anwar, leader of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition that won the highest number of seats at the 15th general election (GE15), spoke to the press early this morning.

Speaking with extreme caution, Anwar announced his intention to form a government.

“We have entered into an understanding. What I’m saying is we now have the majority to form a government,” Anwar told the press.

He, however, steadfastly refused to “entertain rumours” that the alliance would include Barisan Nasional (BN).

It is a collaboration Anwar was quick to deny almost as soon as I raised it here three weeks ago, and for good reason.

Firstly, he would have had to deal with large-scale resistance from within his own party, likely led by PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli, who had said in no uncertain terms that he would be “the first to oppose (it).”

Coalition partner DAP would also likely have faced the same opposition internally, with many adamant that Umno is its eternal enemy.

Zahid would have been put in a similarly awkward position, with Umno’s long-standing “No Anwar, No DAP” policy a potential minefield among the party’s rank and file.

Clearly, neither Anwar nor Zahid could afford those internal bickerings to play out in the open prior to the elections, fearing that it would dampen their chances at the polls.

That decision appears to have borne fruit, with PH’s 82 parliamentary seats and BN’s 30 just enough to give them a simple majority of 112 seats on the floor of the Dewan Rakyat.

That position can only be strengthened by GPS’ 22 seats, GRS’s six, Warisan’s three, PBM’s one and two independent pickings. (Perikatan Nasional, which controls 73 seats, has already rejected the opportunity to work with PH and will struggle to form coalitions with anyone else).

As unlikely an alliance as it may have been even yesterday, PKR, DAP and Umno must accept that working together is the best way forward for a precariously balanced Malaysia and for themselves.

Historical opposition to such an alliance from within these three parties and the rakyat must give way to maturity and acceptance of a new order.

Otherwise, Malaysia would become an increasingly complex country to govern.

GE15 has shown that the Malays in the north are increasingly rejecting the moderation practiced by BN and PH in favour of a more religious mindset which PAS preaches.

Muhyiddin Yassin’s offensive “Christianisation” argument is a clear attempt on Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) part to take Malaysia down the same road, not for any spiritual wellbeing but simply for the political gain of those in power.

Unfortunately, results from GE15 have shown that overzealous Islamisation, now offered by PN, is quickly gaining traction in the north.

It is bound to impact even further the country’s development, its attractiveness to foreign investment, economic viability, and the fundamental rights of non-Muslim Malaysians, as well those of women and children, in a significant way.

Malaysians need no reminding that countries which have gone down this path, especially Afghanistan and Iran, have suffered immensely. Malaysia cannot follow suit.

Very early on in his tenure, Indonesian president Joko Widodo said that his country will not follow such a path. “Islam Nusantara” as practiced in this region was more moderate and welcoming, he said.

Indonesia’s rise as an economic force, and Malaysia’s own decline over the last decade, clearly bear this out.

The alternative offered by PN will have untold effects on Malaysia. Having already taken root in the north, PN will soon attempt to peddle its brand of Islamisation south, causing moderate Malaysians to push back and East Malaysians to pull away.

Malaysia’s political landscape is becoming increasingly fragile. Anwar and Ismail Sabri offer the alternative Malaysia needs.

Hopefully, their political parties and Malaysians will rise above their misgivings, accept the solution offered, and build our beautiful country back from here.

Ibrahim M Ahmad is an FMT reader.

Source : FMT

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