Can the disparate opposition come together to oppose BN?
Can Bersatu and Pejuang lay the foundation for an oppositional coalition or even create a big tent to oppose the Umno led BN?
Can Bersatu and Pejuang sink their differences to come together as a front to oppose Umno/BN?
Pejuang’s chairman Mahathir Mohammed talks about principles as the basis of unity, but what principles are we taking about.
Taking on Umno/BN is one thing but on what grounds will the opposition take them on apart from the same old song of 1MDB corruption and the heavy involvement of the former prime minister Najib Tun Razak.
I understand that following the Johore state election, Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin met Pejuang chairman Mahathir to discuss the possibility of an electoral pact against Umno/BN in the coming 15th general election.
But apart from this meeting, it is not certain whether both the parties despite their political differences would be able to sink them in the larger interest of preventing Umno/BN from capturing political power to form the next federal government.
The pact between Bersatu and Pejuang might not be sufficient to bolster the image and credibility of the opposition.
At this stage, it is still not certain the possibility of cooperation would be extended to other parties such as those in PH. PH after being mauled in the recent by-elections might not be in a strong position to take on Umno/BN in the next election.
However, an electoral pact seems to be out of question. Muhyiddin’s betrayal of the PH government through the Sheraton Move in March 2020 remains the stumbling block in any future electoral cooperation.
Mahathir is not an innocent person altogether, his prevarications leading to the weakening of the PH government played into the hands of the responsible for the infamous Sheraton Move.
Parti Muda could bridge the gap between Bersatu, Pejuang on one hand and PH on the other hand. Even if the DAP and Amanah can still of cooperating with Muda, PKR might be able to accept the idea.
The Johore election is a reminder that things did not go well with Muda and PKR. In fact, there was no electoral pact between them.
As it is, the divisions between the opposition remains a stumbling block to garner support to take on the BN coalition.
Umno-led BN seems to be force to reckoned with given its admiral performance in the recent by-elections. The problem with Muhyiddin and Mahathir is that they have hardly any credibility to lead the opposition. I don’t think that PH would be agreeable to this.
Both their betrayals are something that are not easily forgotten. Bersatu might be in better position to garner Malay votes, especially from those dissatisfied with Umno.
The only reason as to why Pejuang is keen for an electoral pact is to ensure that Najib does not become the prime minister. In other words, Pejuang in general and Mahathir in particular will be singularly focussed on the misdeeds of Najib and nothing else. PH might want to distance from being too obsessed with Najib.
This did not work in Melaka and Johore and why should it work in the coming general election?
Unless and until the opposition re-conceptualised their political agenda, it would be difficult to take on the Umno/BN juggernaut.
Unfortunately, Bersatu and Pejuang, have nothing substantive to offer to the opposition as whole to de-legitimise the BN.