By Paul Bellow
The political dust kicked up in the recently concluded elections for six states will not settle anytime soon.
Emboldened and puffed up with another stunning performance, Perikatan Nasional will now focus its attention on taking over the “Madani” (Civil Malaysia) fortress in Putrajaya.
There will be no peace for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and his Pakatan Harapan coalition. Tempers will not cool because PN could make a move while the iron is still hot.
After steamrolling their way to victory in Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah and making a big dent in the PH strongholds of Selangor and Penang, PN leaders are oozing with confidence. They feel the time has come for them to reclaim their place in power.
Itching for another political brawl, PN leaders will mock the “unity government” at every opportunity it gets. Inside Parliament or outside, the federal opposition bloc will be challenging the legitimacy of the PH ruling coalition.
It will be tough for PH to carry on with business as usual with PN busily hatching plots to undermine Anwar’s Madani administration.
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PN leaders will look for ways and means of circumventing legal barriers to snatch back power. This time, strengthened by its electoral inroads in both parliamentary and state elections, it is eyeing a takeover of Putrajaya.
Anwar will probably have sleepless nights wondering what PN leaders are up to in the coming months. The PM will get a fright if PN chairman Mahiaddin Yassin suddenly announces he has a majority to form the federal government.
It is not impossible for Mahiaddin to convince some PH partners to abandon the unity government and cross over to his side, which has proven its worth in electoral contests.
In politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies. Unfortunately, politics is often reduced to a game of expediency rather than one of principles: one party may switch sides if it feels it is convenient to do so to survive.
A resurgent PN is bad news for Anwar. If his political allies see cracks in the PH armour, they will not want to be on the losing side.
To make PN more palatable, Mahiaddin might dangle some irresistible carrots. His PN partner, Pas president Hadi Awang, might even soften the Islamic party’s stern image to make it more acceptable to other ethnic groups.
If the tide of political fortune continues to flow towards PN, Anwar might be tempted to offer an olive branch to his foes in the name of healing wounds and forging stronger national unity.
But the trouble is, PN has shown its political prowess and will not want to share the seat of power with PH. The recriminations of the past might be too bitter for Mahiaddin to smoke the pipe of peace and reconciliation.
And thus, Malaysia might yet see another round of political instability as the two biggest coalition forces joust in their prolonged quest for the sole right to control the destiny of the country.
Paul Bellow is the pseudonym of a reader of Aliran