It may be too early to come to any conclusions, but I am wondering when we are going to get a proper opposition in Malaysia.
Apart from PAS, the parties which used to form the Federal Government and are now in opposition, are all trying to sort themselves out. One has to wonder what will come out of these deliberations.
Right off the bat, I don’t think that there can be any fundamental changes in the parties of the former Barisan Nasional.
This is particularly true of Umno.
Every single leader in that party is tainted by their association with the former prime minister.
And I don’t care how many whinging declarations of regret that one makes; these people were in the corridors of power during what could turn out to be one of the most disgustingly corrupt regimes ever; and they did nothing.
You can’t just blame some American beverage and then walk away from this car wreck.
Maybe a change in top leadership will be good enough for Umno members; they are after all the masters of denial.
But for the rest of the country, these folk are soiled goods and they won’t be able to be deemed in any way credible as an actual alternative to the government.
And what of the Barisan Nasional? Will they disband completely?
It sounds like this is a distinct possibility.
If this were to happen, then things will be very interesting indeed.
This is because apart from a few parties like Gerakan and Parti Sosialis Malaysia which are officially not race-based; most of the other peninsula parties not in Pakatan Harapan are either expressly race-based or ostensibly so.
I don’t buy into the loose talk that is floating around about how there is a possibility that these parties are going to open their doors to other ethnic groups. Being about one race is their raison d’etre.
There is no way their rank and file, especially those of Umno, will accept any sort of opening up.
They’ll be in conniptions at the thought of their Malay-ness being infiltrated by others.
Besides which right-thinking non-Malay will want to join that lot anyway?
So, what we will have are opposition parties which are largely mono-racial against a multiracial government.
This can be even more dramatic and stark if Umno and PAS stop all their flirting and finally consummate their relationship.
If they were to do that then they could be a very powerful force indeed. Between them, they received about half of the popular vote.
If this were to happen then you will have the main opposition being a coalition (or who knows, maybe a brand new party) along racial and religious lines.