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No end to PH's infighting

  • Thanks to the ideological differences and distrust among PH component parties, coupled with Mahathir's indecision and frequent policy U-turns, the ruling coalition has completely lost its sense of direction. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

Sin Chew Daily

Conflicts among leaders of PH component parties over whether minster in the prime minister's department Waytha Moorthy should stay or go could eventually create a split within the ruling coalition if left uncontrolled.

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and DAP's veteran leader Lim Kit Siang have tried to tame the emotions, but has internal conflicts have already intensified, it will not be easy to put down the fight.

This is not the first time such things have happened to PH. During the party's elections in August, PKR's MP for Kapar Abdullah Sani accused Daim Zainuddin, PM Mahathir and economic affairs minister Azmin Ali of trying to stop Anwar from becoming prime minister.

PPBM was obviously very unhappy that the party was implicated in PKR's elections.

Abdullah Sani subsequently apologized to Mahathir at the instruction of Anwar. Although the incident came to a close, bitter feelings have remained to this day.

November 26, Waytha Moorthy was under fire at the height of the USJ25 temple incident. Mahathir was trying to defend Waytha, but after fireman Muhammad Adib passed away, PPBM Youth submitted a memorandum of understanding to PM Mahathir, urging him to remove Waytha.

Even the PM's media and communication advisor Kadir Jasin agreed that Waytha had become a divisive character and should leave his job.

Apparently under the pressure from the Malay society, PPBM leaders feel that Waytha must go, but sacking him or forcing him to quit is what Umno and PAS have wanted.

The opposition's target is not just Waytha, but Mahathir and the PH government.

The government's decision of not ratifying ICERD marks their first triumph, and if Waytha is eventually removed, the opposition can exploit the views of Malay society as a weapon to intimidate the government in future.

PPBM Youth chief and sports minister Syed Saddiq should not blast his cabinet colleague for the simple reason that the cabinet operates as a team, and it is therefore right for Penang deputy chief minister Ramasamy Palanisamy and Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh to hit out at Saddiq.

This whole episode shows that racism is still very much alive within PH. Being a Malay political party, PPBM finds it difficult to defend an ethnic Indian minster.

Given the intimate relationship of Saddiq and Kadir with Mahathir, the prime minister may have made a decision for them to declare publicly that Waytha must go.

Representing the Indian community in the cabinet, Waytha is an embodiment of the diversity of the new government. Removing Waytha will only complicate things further and become an irony to New Malaysia.

Waytha aside, PPBM's education minister Maszlee Malik is another man of controversy.

He said in the Parliament that religious teachers from Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah should continue to preach in East Malaysia.

PPBM leaders were unhappy that Maszlee was asked to resign.

In addition, the admission of Umno MPs into PPBM has sparked suspicion among other PH component parties, in particular PKR.

One of the reasons Anwar's daughter Nurul Izzah has quit her party posts because some MPs have jumped ship in order to protect their own political careers.

It is sad that the current chaos in Malaysian politics has caused a principled young leader to back off.

In the meantime, a recent survey by Rafizi Ramli's Invoke shows that Mahathir's approval rating has plummeted from 72% to only 53%.

Kedah PKR chief Johari Abdul claimed that Mahathir has lost his direction while Khairuddin Abu Hassan accused him and others of plotting to topple the PM.

PKR Youth vice chairman Syed Badli has urged Mahathir to seriously look at Rafizi's warning while entrepreneurship development minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof urged Rafizi to help the PH government run the country instead of criticizing the government.

If the PH infighting continues, catastrophic consequences will ensue, as PPBM supreme council member Rais Hussin has warned.

Thanks to the ideological differences and distrust among PH component parties, coupled with Mahathir's indecision and frequent policy U-turns, the ruling coalition has completely lost its sense of direction.

Without a common goal, the component parties only bother about their own political gains, resulting in more conflicts.

It is imperative that PH component parties must draw up a reform and governance blueprint as well as a new set of economic and racial relation policies as a guideline for all component parties.

It is a matter of time a ruling coalition without a common understanding will fall apart.

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