By Kanda Mohamad
It’s not the end yet for Pakatan Rakyat (PR), after seven years of existence that has changed the country’s political landscape, mindset of Malaysians and stuck fast as Barisan Nasional’s number one reason to worry.
Whether the opposition front, which is seen as merely a ‘marriage of convenience’ has truly disintegrated cannot as yet be ascertained because it was founded on consensus, with the leaders of the three political parties – PKR de facto chief Dartuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, agreeing to the arrangement and duly signing it into a disparate political pact before the 2008 general election.
Lim’s unilateral declaration had obviously disappointed the voters who had supported PR in 2013 general election. They see it as a ‘betrayal of trust.’
But then again, the voters are used to betrayal upon betrayal, but all the time forgiving and persistenly giving the ir support to the pact, as can be seen in Anwar’s Kajang Move in Selangor and during the Permatang Pauh by-election in Penang, where PKR President and also Anwar’s wife, Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail continued to command support.
With only DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng declaring the pact officially dead, it is questionable if the dissolution of the unregistered pact is valid without the consent of the other partners.
For now, the parties are hanging on to the vestiges of the torn pact, with PKR playing the role of ‘pillar’ and ‘glue’ attempting to hold them together for the sake of perception or whatever.
Whether Lim’s declaration is official or not does not seem to matter to PKR and PAS, as both parties are looking at how best they can continue to work together under the fragile platform of common goal to unseat Barisan Nasional (BN), despite differences in ideologies and philosophies.
Lim seems bent on dominating the situation, and Hadi viewed it as an irritation.In fact, it is said that some PKR leaders share the same view with PAS on the matter, which is also affecting unity within PKR.
Lim declared the dissolution because DAP could not work together with PAS, following the latter’s insistence in pushing throughHudud laws in Kelantan in May and two private member’s bills in Parliament to facilitate its implementation in the state.
Adding to Lim’s anger was the adoption of the debate-less resolution by the ulamas in PAS to cut ties with DAP, following Lim’s tirade against Hadi and interference in the party’s poll, where Lim sided with the liberals to unseat the president.
For PAS, adopting the resolution is not final as the matter needs to go through discussion in the syura council where a final decision would then be made and becomes a policy.
However, it is obvious that Lim’s disagreement is not shared by PKR, where Wan Azizah and Anwar, who is in jail, are still holding the hope that the political disagreement on Hudud could be solved through discussions.
For PKR, what matters most is the hold on Selangor state, where minus PAS, it will be a hung state government and Menteri Besar who is also PKR deputy president needs to call for a snap state election.
In Selangor, PKR holds 12 seats with DAP 15, PAS 16, Umno 12 and former Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as the sole Independent.
If PKR follows DAP in cutting ties with PAS, it does not have the numbers and it has no choice but to dissolve the state assembly which it would want to avoid by all means.
Going by the figures and the present priority, PKR is not expected to follow DAP’s decision as its’ stakes are high compared to DAP and PAS.
Penang is solely DAP’s state, with the Chinese-based party holding 19 seats, PKR 10 seats, PAS only one seat and Umno 10 seats. Looking at Penang’s figures, DAP has no qualms about abandoning the two allies in the pact.
PAS on the other hand had Kelantan solid with Umno in the mood to make any attempts to topple it.
Given the scenario, PKR may decide to continue working together with PAS and DAP and if Lim decides to cut ties with PKR, which it will not do, PKR can still govern Selangor with PAS.