The statement by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that the Pakatan Harapan government may end up a one term government if infighting in the coalition continues is, no doubt, a timely reminder of the direction in which PH is headed.
As head of government, the PM must, however, take responsibility not only for the defeat in Kimanis over the weekend, but also in the four by elections before that, particularly in light of obvious waning support for PH since GE14.
Moreover, the PM’s confirmation that he is open to working with anyone, as long as it is not former PM Najib Tun Razak implies that PH may work with the likes of UMNO and others which were convincingly voted out in GE14.
This certainly does not inspire confidence in PH’s commitment to real reforms, the platform on which, it achieved the impossible in GE14 by defeating the Barisan Nasional after 61 years in power.
The issue raised by Dato Ambiga Sreenevasan a few days ago that perhaps the only person who has read the Institutional Reform Committee (IRC) report, of which she is a member, is the Prime Minister, is a serious cause for concern as well.
The IRC was set up soon after GE14, comprising of eminent members for the purpose of identifying areas which need major reforms and for proposing ways to achieve such reforms.
Surely, the said report of the IRC is crucial to PH’s reform agenda and ought to have been made public a long time ago. It is baffling why it has not.
No doubt, the manipulation of various local issues by the opposition such as the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS) may have been a contributing factor to Warisan’s loss but it would be naive to think that it was the only factor.
While I agree that infighting in PH must stop, other factors must be addressed urgently such as the peaceful transition of power from the PM to Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim and outlining a definite timeframe for the same, as promised in GE14.
Like it or not, this issue has created tensions in PH and can be destructive if not dealt with urgently.
The survival of PH must be the priority and we can ill afford further erosion of support for the coalition. There must be a strong political will to implement the reforms that were promised and to seriously tackle the very real problem of deteriorating race relations in the country of late.
If we start doing so now, I am confident that PH will not be a one term government.
Dated this 21st of January, 2020.
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
CHAIRMAN NATIONAL LEGAL BUREAU
DEMOCRATIC ACTION PARTY