A political analyst warns that DAP ‘s support for Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) candidate for prime minister could once again put a dent in his grassroots backing, as cracks in the coalition are widening in disputes over his nominee for top post in the country.
Awang Azman Awang Pawi, from Universiti Malaya, said DAP ‘s call for PKR to decide on Mahathir as the candidate for PH instead of Anwar Ibrahim may not sit well with his supporters.
Even, he said, it could also be difficult for the Malays to recognize Mahathir again as prime minister as he had resigned from the post in February against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong ‘s wishes. DAP does not take that sensitivity into consideration. The party should focus on changing its image in such a way that the Malays accept it.
He also spoke of social media reservations about Mahathir ‘s return for third time to helm the nation. DAP supporters are more inclined towards a multiracial vision of Malaysia, and this is something people associate more with Anwar than with Mahathir, who is a nationalist from Malaysia.
Malaysiakini previously stated organizing secretary of the DAP, Loke Siew Fook, urging PKR to support Mahathir as the prime ministerial candidate of the coalition as agreed to by the other PH components.
However, Awang Azman said that PKR would stand its ground because before the 2018 general election, PH would not have been able to capture Putrajaya without his help and Anwar ‘s acceptance of Mahathir as an ally.
It will be very difficult for PH-Plus to form the government without PKR and the MPs allied with Anwar. Referring to the remaining parties in PH, his Sabah ally Warisan and the four MPs who lost their PPBM membership along with Mahathir.
Azmi Hassan, from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, said that PKR now seemed alone in having Anwar as prime minister. He acknowledged the alliance wouldn’t work without PKR, but he said the party couldn’t go it alone, in effect.
The only way to save PH for the next general election is for PKR to be part of the coalition. Adding however that Anwar could issue an ultimatum to either accept him as his candidate for prime minister or do without the support of his party in its efforts to oust Putrajaya’s Perikatan Nasional.
Azmi said PKR ‘s reluctance to recognize Mahathir again as prime minister was understandable, only for six months , despite the veteran statesman ‘s reluctance to hand over the reins to Anwar while PH was still in power.
But the fact is that his best chance for Anwar to become prime minister is still through PH.