COMMENT | Harapan’s comeback window could soon close

Manjit Bhatia

Modified 3 Jun 2020, 9:45 am

COMMENT | Pakatan Harapan is crowing again. It claims it has the numbers to oust the ‘illegitimate’ Muhyiddin Yassin-led Perikatan Nasional (PN) regime. Proof is always in the pudding.

It could do what Muhyiddin Yassin did – go to the king. But the king mightn’t entertain Harapan. Such moves are terribly stained now. Few people will buy it. And it wouldn’t bring Harapan the kind of legitimacy it won at GE14, regardless of the current tit-for-tat politics.

Malaysia desperately needs good governance after decades of merciless corruption and policy ad hoc-ism. Harapan says it needs to push for a confidence vote in Parliament. This won’t come easily. The illiberal and desperate Muhyiddin, given his upper-hand, will resist re-calling Parliament, as he did before. On May 18, he reduced it to a facetious stunt.

Still, despite banging on about Muhyiddin and PN, DAP leader Liew Chin Tong, for example, has yet again totally evaded launching into a critique of his own side. Perhaps a cat has conveniently got his tongue.

Harapan faces problems galore. It must stop burying its head in sand. It’s time for it to deal with its many ghosts, past and present. Chief among these is if Harapan will – or can – end its internecine warfare to stand even a remote chance of a comeback. Equally fundamentally, it needs to stay in power longer than 22 months. A whole five-year term would be a miracle.

But the urgency has come. Exorcising Harapan’s demons is especially exigent as more becomes known of the subterfuge that led to last February’s coup that spectacularly swung the wrecking-ball at Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar Ibrahim and Harapan. They were royally defrocked and dethroned – all by their own doing.

Foremost, Harapan must cull its nauseating lovefest with the entirely destructive and deceitful Mahathir. Second, it must tell Anwar that, like his arch-enemy Mahathir, he’s surplus to requirements. Both have been for a while. Third, both should be made to realise their own political parties aren’t their personal fiefdoms; nor of their younger lieutenants. Fourth, the Malay world may have stopped listening to or, worse, believing [in] Mahathir and Anwar.

As desperation grows, the biggest mistake Harapan could make, again, is to put its lot behind...

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