Pakatan must do serious soul searching ahead of general election

The coalition needs to tackle some hard questions after its dismal showing in Malacca

The Anwar-led Pakatan Harapan coalition must tackle some hard questions

Pakatan Harapan won only five seats in the recent Malacca state election while Barisan Nasional won 21 seats.

It must be galling for PH, especially with such a low turnout: despite all the corruption charges made against some BN leaders, BN not only survived but thrived in Malacca.

With Umno-BN now on a high, calls have surfaced for the country’s general election to be held earlier.

Is this the death knell for PH? This seems to be the consensus as nothing seems to have gone right for PH since it was ousted from power almost two years ago.

Some say PH leader Anwar Ibrahim should step down because of too much internal squabbling. His party, PKR, lost all the 11 seats it contested. (The DAP won just four seats and Amanah, one.) That PKR lost in Machap Jaya, a non-Malay majority seat, speaks volumes.

Many have tried to explain why PH failed so miserably in Malacca. They point to dissatisfaction over the acceptance of defectors as candidates. Others argue that older leaders, including party leaders, should make way for the younger set.

Yet others have suggested that the PH loss was partly due to Anwar’s ties with the DAP. If working with the DAP was one of the many reasons for the coalition’s failure to win in Malacca, when will Malaysia ever be ready to become a ‘whole’ country where multicultural and multi-religious customs and people coexist?

Will there ever be a right time? It wasn’t an issue when PH won the general election two years ago.

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Why is it that there seems to be some kind of irrational fear of having a multi-ethnic party? Are we not a multiracial country? So why does the DAP’s inclusion in PH seem to be anathema to some? By the way, Amanah is also one of the parties in PH. So, is that party wrong in its association with DAP as well?

Political stability is an important component for voters, and right now, stability is lacking in PKR. This may have had a bearing on the party’s loss in Malacca. Nobody wants to vote for a party that is in disarray.

For the past two years, Anwar has been trying to topple the government but could not come up with the numbers – or at least, the right kind of numbers – so he can become prime minister.

People are sick and tired of this already. He needs to get rid of his dream of becoming prime minister and focus on what his party stood for originally.

Why did the people choose PKR in the last election? Go back to basics and start with a clean slate.

If Anwar cannot sort out the mess in his own party, how is he going to sort out bigger issues? Indeed, hard truths need to be faced, otherwise the whole exercise of a post-mortem and soul searching is pointless.

So, if PH feels that it still has what it takes to be in the next general election, it needs to figure out what the people want. Do not moan about Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s promises – let them go already! Do not make grandiose promises that, in the long run, will never be kept. Keep everything simple.

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The people are struggling and finding it hard to survive, especially now, with the pandemic and another wave on the horizon. 

Go down to the people, PH, and speak honestly. Speak to them, not down to them. Be open and listen to feedback even if you don’t like the comments made. Don’t have them just listen to you. You want the people to vote for you. You are not voting for yourself!

Have a simple and deliverable manifesto that will cater to the people and to the here and now, not five to 10 years down the road.

The Sarawak state election will be held on 18 December 2021. How strong is the PKR-PH presence in Sarawak? What have the party’s representatives done for the people and the constituencies they represent?

These may be some of the hard questions Anwar and his party members need to answer or will have to face. 

Reacting to the Malacca election outcome, Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Open observed: ““Firstly, the people reject ‘frogs’. Secondly, the people want a stable government to focus on solving the economic and health problems.”

He added the Malacca election sent a clear message to all political leaders and spoke of an “empty” party, believed to be a reference to PKR. A telling comment, don’t you think?

So many questions need to be looked into with honesty and truthfulness. Can Anwar and all his party members do this? If this is not done and PH still goes on as it is, its chances at the next general elections would be dismal.

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Jem, an Aliran reader, still cares deeply about Sabah, despite having lived in the peninsula for some time

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Yeo Kim Sai
Yeo Kim Sai
5 Dec 2021 8.48am

All VOTERS NEED TO DO THEIR SOUL SEARCHING FOR THEIR FUTURE GENERATIONS WELL BEINGS AND NATION DEVELOPMENT OF SUCCESSFUL MULTICULTURALISM, ECONOMY AND PROSPERITY. Stop all racial demarcation and racial divisions politics.