Mahathir-PN artificial pact desperate for Malay support
The idea of PN embracing the twice prime minister Mahathir Mohammed might be predicated on the notion to leave no stone unturned in the quest for Malay support in the coming state elections.
PAS and Bersatu are not that confident in in repeating the same performance as was the case in the last general election in 2022.
Much water has passed under the bridge after Anwar Ibrahim took power in November 2022.
Anwar might be eight months in power, but he is sending the right messages to the people especially in the B40 group. He has taken a firm and uncompromising stand against corruption, adoption of measures needed to address poverty, controlling food prices and stabilising the ringgit.
Anwar knows very well that despite the race and religious rhetoric from the opposition, bread and butter issues are important for the poor and the needy. PAS knows that its mesmerisation of the Malay folks in states like Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu might be a pyrrhic phenomenon.
At the end of the day, for the people there must be food on the table, money to spend on basic items and others. Ideology alone whether racial or religious cannot sustain political support for a long time.
If PAS cannot even resolve the basic water needs of the people in Kelantan, then what is the point of talking about grandiose ideas of life and after life.
Anwar’s recent whirlwind tour of states might be dismissed as publicity stunts geared for the coming elections, but the fact he is sending the right and appropriate messages to address the needs of the poor cannot be dismissed.
In fact, the bread and butter talks about Anwar might be causing panic in the ranks of the opposition. No other prime minister in the past had spent so much time and energy to talk about abject poverty than Anwar.
He might have been only eight months in office, but the messages to the poor are loud and clear. The fact that PN has embraced Mahathir tells much about the kind of pact.
Realistically speaking, there is a trust deficit between Mahathir, Muhyiddin Yassin and Hadi Awang. But since they have come together in a synthetic embrace, political desperation cannot be ruled out.
After a period of political hiatus especially after Mahathir lost badly in the last federation elections in Langkawi, there is sense of desperation on the part of Muhyiddin and Hadi.
There is feeling that by bringing Mahathir into the opposition fold, there is a possibility that Malay support can be enhanced. The PN leaders know very well based on past experiences, Mahathir cannot be trusted.
In the Sheraton Move, Mahathir essentially betrayed Muhyiddin and Azmin Ali, the coup leaders. There is no guarantee that Mahathir might not pull the same thing with Muhyiddin and Hadi.
However, the coming together even if it is temporary is just move to wean away Malay support from the PH-BN pact. For PN leaders, even if the Malay Proclamation, the Malayness of the Federal Constitution and other racist stunts of Mahathir are incomprehensible or bizarre, as long as these can gain Malay support in the state elections, they are prepared to condone them.