The PH dilemma – Mahathir or Anwar?


© Provided by Free Malaysia Today The Mahathir-Anwar face-off is causing a split in the PH parties like DAP and Amanah.

PETALING JAYA: 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 analyts and party insiders.

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.

The Pakatan Harapan coalition is made up of PKR, DAP and Amanah.

Anwar needs to get his priorities right

Kartini Aboo Talib.© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Kartini Aboo Talib.

Political analyst Kartini Aboo Talib of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia said there was a split in almost all the opposition parties.

She said DAP was still unable to “tango” with the Malay voters, adding that even though the party’s membership was open to all, they were still unable to woo the Malay voters whether in urban or rural areas..

Due to that, she said the party veterans should allow younger leaders with a more multiracial approach to lead the party.

“DAP needs more vibrant, fresh leadership to rejuvenate and to reconnect with all (races),” she told FMT, adding that the refusal by some party leaders to step down could be causing the split in the party.

The same also goes with Anwar, she said, adding that he needed to prepare younger leaders to take over PKR as a means of attracting a younger crowd and to rejuvenate the party.

Political analyst Kenneth Cheng said there was no alternative candidate at the moment as Anwar was the opposition leader.

a person wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Kenneth Cheng.© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Kenneth Cheng.

Anwar, he said, needed to focus on issues affecting the rakyat and voice out against any injustice and the impact of the weakening economy, as the rakyat worry about jobs and stability.

He said the Port Dickson MP needed to ensure that the opposition front was united to gain the respect and trust of the rakyat.

“Under the emergency, there is no Parliament, so opposition MPs need to go back to their constituents and win their hearts.

“Everyone is so sick of politics,” he said, referring to the months of infighting between PPBM and Umno that started barely four months after they got together to take over Putrajaya from Pakatan Harapan in March 2020.

Cheng, who is a member of Agora Society, a loose network of intellectuals, advised Anwar not to rush to work with Umno as an election may be held after the emergency ends in August.

“Look at the way Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was pressured to invoke the emergency, he is pressured by Umno rebels (who do not want to cooperate with Muhyiddin),” he said.

a man wearing glasses posing for the camera: Awang Azman Pawi.© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Awang Azman Pawi.

Even if Anwar joins hands with Umno now, Cheng said Parliament would automatically dissolve in two years. Due to that he said it is better to champion the rights of the rakyat now and make the opposition pact stronger.

“I really don’t see the merits of retaking the government now,” he added.

Political analyst Awang Azman Pawi said the ongoing emergency and movement control order (MCO) will cause the economy to slow down.

This, he said, gives Anwar space to create alternative policies to ensure the rakyat are not at the receiving end of one-sided policies.

“He can be the check and balance as there are no parliamentary sittings,” he said.

However, Awang Azman said it would be impossible for PH to be a united front unless Mahathir moves aside.

“If Mahathir still wants to be the prime minister for a third time, there could be a split in the opposition as Anwar is the opposition leader,” he added.

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