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The Flipside

Published: Wednesday June 24, 2015 MYT 12:04:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday June 24, 2015 MYT 12:09:10 PM

Pakatan Rakyat divorce a blessing in disguise

SUFFICE to say, the end of Pakatan Rakyat in its present form was a source of disappointment to many of us who were counting on them to remain a potent adversary to Barisan Nasional.

That hope may have died together with the 7-year-old coalition, but perhaps once the news has settled in, it should be seen as a blessing in disguise. 

Let’s face it, the Pakatan we knew was never going to effectively rule the country even if given the chance.

There were far too many ideological differences between the component parties, the same differences that ultimately led to their split.

And as is the case with any marriage, better to call it quits early and go your separate ways especially when countless attempts to patch the rift have failed.

Pakatan’s was an ‘arranged marriage’, one that seemed a convenient solution for all parties back in 2008 when the opposition collectively won more seats than they expected.

If we’ve learnt anything from the Game of Thrones, a marriage between powerful Houses is one way to become a force to be reckoned with in Westeros.

So was the case for DAP, PKR, and PAS, whose best bet at ending the long-standing rule of Barisan was through a joining together of ‘Houses’, and an exciting union it was. At first that is.

It soon became apparent that Pakatan’s was not a match made in heaven, although they managed to administer three states - Selangor, Kelantan, and Penang - rather effectively as a coalition government.

At the party level though, PAS had started veering off to pursue their hudud aspirations while PKR’s agenda was essentially tailored to match Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s ambitions. 

The unwarranted ‘Kajang move’ heavily backfired on Pakatan, and drove a deeper wedge in their partnership, especially with PAS.

If you ask me, DAP was the only party which really upheld the Pakatan common policy framework and referred back to it whenever a disagreement arose.

It’s no wonder that the death of Pakatan has affected them the most, with party veteran Lim Kit Siang making hopeful statements in recent days in an attempt to keep spirits up.

But even they must have known that as far as the overall partnership was concerned, the only common policy the three parties seemed to share was toppling Barisan at all costs.

Now even that has changed as the new PAS leadership has started warming up to Barisan while referring to their once allies DAP in the same breath as, well,  ‘enemies of Islam’.

Both parties are blaming the other for pulling the plug on Pakatan’s life support, but the sad truth is that the pact had been long dead.

They failed to make their differences work to their advantage, instead letting it simmer underneath the surface until it reached boiling point.

Not once were they able to furnish the people with a shadow cabinet, yet another telling sign that they hadn’t quite figured out how to exist as a single entity.

By that measure, this divorce was inevitable. But the hope is that it will also be irrelevant to the future that could yet pan out for Malaysia’s perennial opposition force.

The next general election is still two years away, enough time to dust themselves off and forge fresh political alliances (at the expense of certain parties) to come back stronger.

At the risk of sounding as optimistic as Kit Siang, Pakatan can rise from the ashes again. They need to.

Tags / Keywords: DAP, No more, Pakatan

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