Pakatan Harapan (PH) is a coalition formed from the understanding that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s role is just as important as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s, Liew Chin Tong said today.
The DAP national political education director pointed out that PH would have not been able to win the 14th general election had Dr Mahathir and his party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) not joined the coalition, and that that in doing so the Malay party had agreed that PKR, DAP and Amanah were led by Anwar.
“Mahathir understands that this is a Mahathir-Anwar government as much as Anwar understands that this is an Anwar-Mahathir government.
“The decision to join PH signified that Mahathir and Bersatu agreed that the new PH government is a Mahathir-Anwar government. Without either Mahathir/Bersatu or the tripartite PH coalition led by Anwar, Najib would continue to roam freely and cling onto power,” Liew said in a statement, referring to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Prior to GE14, there were several important developments, Liew said, which included the rejection PAS progressives from the Islamist party, Anwar’s imprisonment, spiritual advisor Datuk Seri Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat’s death as well as Najib winning the remaining PAS leadership over.
Liew said that Najib’s plan on winning the election was based on the presumption that those who did not back his leadership would simply vote for PAS instead of PH, and that after winning the elections, Umno and PAS could come together to form a ruling bloc.
“However, it was the historic collaboration between Mahathir and Anwar, and Bersatu joining forces with the remaining PH component parties, swinging 15-20 per cent of Malay votes in the West Coast that finally allowed PH to overcome Najib’s ‘three-cornered’ strategy and wrestle power from BN,” Liew said.
The DAP strategist also credited the alliance between PPBM and DAP as a chance for the country’s political landscape to be rebuilt, and with it reforms to take place.
“A ‘grand coalition’ refers to an arrangement in which two unrelated or even opposing forces unite in the face of a mutual enemy or a common goal.
“It is not easy for two previously opposing forces to come together and this process requires countless negotiations and discussions. A grand coalition like this will be able to surmount problems that used to seem unsolvable, as long as it maintains a mechanism of collaboration and engagement, and mutual respect,” the DAP leader said.
He stressed that this “grand coalition” required both leaders within DAP and PPBM to let go of “mutual suspicion” and to admit that there will be political differences.
Liew’s remarks today come amid rising tensions between both parties over Dr Mahathir’s leadership and role within PH.
Johor DAP leader Dr Boo Cheng Hau recently called for Dr Mahathir to step down as PM, alleging that he had belittled PH’s manifesto and promises.
He said this was evident based on the PPBM chairman’s statement that PH’s manifesto was not written in stone but mere guidelines.
Dr Boo had also said Dr Mahathir’s public remarks were damaging to the ruling coalition’s credibility as a whole.
In response, PPBM leaders accused the DAP of being insolent and treacherous, and demanded that action be taken against him.