Malaysia: PH en route to Pakatan Rakyat’s fate as open season arrives

  • Pakatan Harapan (PH) is on its deathbed, some two years after its formal registration amid the celebratory mood following its historic win in the 2018 general election, insiders say.
  • The coalition, which ran Putrajaya for 21 months before its abrupt fall from power at the height of an internal crisis in Feb 20, now looks set to go the way of Pakatan Rakyat, the three-party opposition alliance which collapsed amid irreconcilable differences between DAP and PAS.
  • Anti-PKR sentiments are being openly aired by the party’s long-time and closest ally, DAP, whose leaders have long supported Anwar Ibrahim’s prime ministerial ambitions.
  • Calls have been reverberating at the grassroots as well as leadership levels, accusing Anwar and his party of causing the collapse of Malaysia’s first non-Umno federal government.
  • But pro-Anwar leaders within DAP would disagree. These include maverick state-level leaders such as Selangor’s Ronnie Liu and Johor’s Dr Boo Cheng Hau, who have always been vocal against the central command.
  • Liu and Boo are still convinced that Anwar is PH’s best bet, and that any compromise to make Mahathir the prime minister again is out of the question.
  • For now, it is difficult to say which lobby is stronger: the one advocating Mahathir’s return to power, or the one which would like to see Anwar finally in the seat he has been eyeing for decades.

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