Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) ability to act as a united front is now in question, as some of its leaders may try to work with Umno while others support Dr Mahathir Mohamad, leaving Anwar Ibrahim in a limbo, according to analysts and party insider.
A PH insider said PKR leader Anwar can only unite the opposition if Mahathir steps down from politics.
He said that, at present, some DAP leaders want to work with Mahathir while others back Anwar.
Due to that, he said there was a movement to remove the two Lims – DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang and his son Guan Eng – from the top positions.
“They want new blood to lead the party and work with Anwar while the Lims can be advisers to the party,” he said.
The leader added that just as there was a split in DAP, the leaders of Amanah were also torn between Anwar and Mahathir.
Hannah Yeoh lamented that Ronnie Liu had also caused inconvenience for government leaders when Pakatan Harapan was still in power, by having a “constant countdown” on Facebook for when former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would hand over power to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“Everyone including Tun M, Anwar, Ronnie (and myself included) must shoulder some blame in the collapse of the PH government.
“Responsible leadership requires us to examine ourselves. For Ronnie, Tun M can do no right. For Ronnie, Anwar can do no wrong,” she said.
DAP leader Ronnie Liu has urged Pakatan Harapan to remain united amid calls for a political reset.
The Sungai Pelek assemblyman said the coalition must work together and drop its “holier than thou” attitude to save the country.
In a statement, he reminded everyone that PH had only been able to take over the government due to opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s reformasi movement.
“The injustice done to Anwar was the main reason why people rallied behind PH,” he said.
Liu said Anwar was willing to cooperate with others such as former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his successor, Muhyiddin Yassin in the interest of the rakyat.
DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has issued a clarion call for his party to unite and rally behind Pakatan Harapan (PH) in facing the 15th general election, a day after warning that DAP appeared as chaotic and disunited as other major parties.
In a speech to party leaders in Pekan Nenas, Pontian in Johor, Lim said DAP needed to be protected from “external forces” which he claimed were trying to split the party.
“This call from Pekan Nenas is particularly meaningful because this ‘pineapple town’ was one of two state constituencies in Tanjung Piai. At the end of 2019, the PH candidate was given a thrashing in the Tanjung Piai by-election,” he said.
Lim said PH had deviated from a moderate position during its 22 months in power, giving in to politics of race and religion, causing the former government to fall out of favour with both Malays and non-Malays.
He added that this was proven by the coalition’s heavy loss in Tanjung Piai.
“There is a need to review the modus operandi of PH and the component parties. The PH parties and leaders must develop a PH mindset and approach to the nation’s problems.
“PH must return to the moderate centre and not compete with the advocates of hate and intolerance who are in the politics of race and religion,” he said.
As one of DAP supporter wrote in a “letter to the editor” column: “In that event, most of us would have condemned DAP for not toeing the line and not finishing the term and blamed DAP for causing a premature collapse of the government.”
Somehow, the dissatisfactions in the DAP is linked with the idea that Dr. Mahathir Mohamad will be Prime Minister for the third time.
I had told many people, including the Opposition Leader and PKR President, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, that Mahathir will not become a Prime Minister for the third time.
This was long before Dr. Mahathir publicly stated to Bernama on April 14, 2021 that he had no wish to become Prime Minister for the third time as he is 95 years old.
Yesterday, Lim said DAP had been the most united party with none of its 42 elected MPs leaving the party since the last general election (GE14). However, he added, recent events told a “different story” about the party’s state.
“We are in politics, not for ourselves, but for the nation and for the sake of our children and grandchildren,” he said.
He was alluding to the debate within the party after its Sungai Pelek assemblyman Ronnie Liu said the party should not become “less Chinese” in the pursuit of its Malaysian dream.
Merge Harapan parties into a single progressive entity
he best hope for a united Malaysia is for a DAP-PKR-Amanah fusion, says the Sungai Pelek rep.
Sungai Pelek assemblyperson Ronnie Liu says that one of the best prospects for a united Malaysia is for his own party DAP to merge with PKR and Amanah, thus creating a more representative and bigger multi-racial party.
“All three should dissolve and merge into one pluralistic party with a progressive outlook.
“I really hope that one day Pakatan Harapan will be a single, broad-based party instead of a coalition,” Liu told Malaysiakini.
He said that far from being a Chinese chauvinist, as the party has been criticised, he believed in a multi-racial vision and that DAP needed to evolve from its current position.
“DAP needs an overhaul or it will face a slow death,” he added.
Liu said he knows that in the past, this kind of call had been twisted to mean he wanted to destroy DAP and make it subservient to PKR but that was not his intention.
A combination of DAP’s 42 MPs, PKR’s 35 MPs and Amanah’s 11 MPs would give any such entity 88 MPs making it comfortably the largest party in the current Parliament.
However, given that PKR itself had been riven by factionalism and with tensions rising ahead of the DAP leadership elections in June, it is questionable if such a merger could work.
“The reason to dissolve to become one party is that each party can throw away past baggage and come under new branding. DAP has been accused of being anti-Islam, PKR an Anwar (Ibrahim)-only vehicle and some say Amanah is small fry.
“But if we can merge in a sincere way, the combined parties can be a real force,” Liu added.
Liu has been embroiled in a war of words with senior DAP leaders, with Iskandar Puteri MP Lim Kit Siang yesterday repeating the potential of external threats to DAP amid the ongoing party elections.
“The party is undergoing elections at the state and national levels and we welcome a healthy debate on the future of DAP and the nation.
“But we must be aware of hostile external forces which are trying to split and destroy DAP,” Lim said in a statement.
Liu had dismissed the “external forces” theory and instead expressed frustration at the rise of DAP “elites” since the 2018 general election, who took up important federal government positions at the expense of long-time grassroots leaders.
He also said that those who rose to prominence after DAP’s successes did not endure the sufferings of the grassroots but instead were enjoying the fruits of their (the grassroots’) labour.
He claimed the party was now under a feudal system, with the elites treating the ordinary members like cannon fodder.
Liu had previously criticised the manner in which the current DAP leadership had charted the party’s course, saying they shouldn’t have to dilute the party’s “Chinese-ness” to attract Malay supporters.
For this stand he took, Liu was roundly slammed by party leaders such as Tony Pua and Hannah Yeoh.