Home English News “Wrong to think Melaka election might not endanger federal ties” – Ramasamy

“Wrong to think Melaka election might not endanger federal ties” – Ramasamy

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COMMENT BY YB PROF DR P.RAMASAMY, DEPUTY CHIEF MINISTER II, PENANG

I disagree with the argument that the election battle between Bersatu and Umno or BN might not affect ties at the federal level. Even though there might be strong rivalry and competition between the Malay-based parties, the contest in the coming Melaka state election is assumed not affect their ties at the federal government level.

The ties between the Bersatu and Umno have been considerably strained over the last few months. It is expected that there will be fireworks during the campaign even though social gatherings are prohibited.

This is especially so that the principally dominant Malay-based parties such as Umno and Bersatu are determined to show the extent of their popularity among the Malays.

The Melaka state election might just be the barometer the parties need in preparation for the general election next year. The assumption that the contest in the state might not affect the ties at the federal level is a simplistic one.

It seriously underestimates the degree of animosity between Umno and Bersatu. Umno leaders have never forgiven the Bersatu leaders who broke away from Umno after the last general election in 2018.

I expect a strong do or die for the Malay votes; Umno wants to prove that is the only party for Malay whereas Bersatu want to maintain with much difficulty that it is still relevant for the Malays.

The days of the fiery opposition by PAS are gone. It has burned its bridges with Umno by working well with Bersatu in return for some plum posts.

Its religious credentials have been subordinated to the larger material perks. Whether PAS can return to the glory of its former days, remains in doubt.

It has proven beyond doubt that it is no difference from Bersatu or Umno, but much more pretentious than the former. Furthermore the idea that even if Bersatu leaves the federal fold, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the government and the opposition might save the former from downfall.

In the absence of support from Bersatu or PAS, the PN government can still hold its fort. However, for this to happen, there is need for the support from PH.

Again it is naive if not simplistic to believe that the MOU between the government and PH might save the former if the other two parties withdraw their support. The MOU is not intended to save the government but rather to bring about reforms in return for some measure of support.

This support was predicated on the grounds to contain the pandemic and to stabilise the economy.

The MOU is not meant to shore up political support for the government in the event Bersatu refrains from supporting. The MOU is certainly not an insurance policy to underwrite the anticipated the government fallout at the federal level.

The MOU was meant for some specific purpose for a particular period of time. I don’t think PH is willing to blindly throw its lifeline of support if Umno crashes in Melaka.

The MOU might have cushioned the government against instability in tackling the pandemic.It cannot be used to strengthen the government at the expense of the future of the PH opposition.

As it is, the stability induced by the MOU is proving more beneficial to the government rather than the PH. The rank and file are already making noise about whether the MOU can strengthen the PH.

Cooperation is important in stabilising the general health condition of the country as result of the devastation wrought by the pandemic. But a prolonged MOU in anticipation of reforms and changes might be detrimental to the PH in general.