Dear Pakatan, the rakyat are in the dumps

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COVID-19 crushed any pretense of Pakatan Harapan (PH) as a credible opposition or government-in-waiting.

PH’s ineptitude since his ejection from Putrajaya in February 2020, plagued by skewed priorities, has swept away any illusions.

The pressure on the coalition is mounting.

The decision to stay away and sign the memorandum of understanding with the ruling government now looks foolhardy and, with the cost crisis, could dampen the coalition’s ambitions to return to Putrajaya.

The pandemic and rising food prices – which both discriminate based on religion and economic status – have caused deep unease in the country.

And the worst is yet to come, with experts predicting another wave will hit, sooner than expected. It is unimaginable to imagine how the crisis could worsen – and how many more losses are to come.

There is no doubt that the Prime Minister has lost huge support across the country due to his government’s continued mismanagement of the country.

By failing to anticipate rising costs as a result of holding national elections in Malacca and Johor, the government seems not only tone deaf but deliberately determined to deny the enormity of the situation currently affecting the country.

What PH must and should do now really matters.

For the good of the country, he cannot afford to let Barisan Nasional (BN) win.

The rest of the world chuckles, waiting to see if the country returns and continues with its disgraceful title of kleptocratic administration.

It remains to be seen what would happen if the country returned to a kleptocratic administration. It will be a huge setback.

This is a worrying reality for the PH coalition. In just over two years, he burned through much of the political capital he had when he entered Putrajaya in May 2018.

Not surprisingly, the gap widened between voters who voted for the PH in May 2018 and those who voted for the BN, a gap that may be difficult to close in the 15th general election (GE15 ). It will also raise doubts about the viability of the current PH leader who will continue to lead the coalition and be nominated as a candidate for prime minister.

Things could still get worse.

PH not only faces increased political polarization and rising prices, but also the risk of a recession that could hit when the GE15 is called.

Having acted cautiously thus far, it would not be surprising if the Minister of Finance and Bank Negara Malaysian took an aggressive stance in the latter part of the year or early next year as signs of a global slowdown become more apparent.

Yes, all things considered, the current government faces the worst possible environment for an incumbent who needs to bounce back. But again, a sharp downturn in the economy could also deal a blow to PH’s outlook.

It is far from clear whether PH will be able to stage a similar comeback as it is caught between disillusioned voters who are disappointed with PH’s failure to deliver on its manifesto in 2018 – a promise of transformational economic and social change. – and voters who resent the leaders of PH member parties are giving too much respect to the coalition leader’s personal pursuit to become prime minister.

The misfortune in the country is even broader than the inflation that should infect us. The gloom reflects disappointment that the country has failed to return to normalcy under the leadership of the current government.

And the rakyat really wants politicians who are in touch with this reality and who are going to do something about it.

Despite Keluarga Malaysia’s slogan promising to bring unity to a highly polarized society, it seems that the convergence of so many issues unfavorable to the current government has led to bitter divisions not only between political divides, but also within parties. on both sides of the coalition.

And it’s so tumultuous. It’s a different crisis every day.

The clock keeps ticking and the time between now and GE15 keeps getting shorter, which means the problems are likely to last. And PH should be extremely concerned about what’s to come.

At times, PH seems to have been taken by the heels by some issues and isn’t particularly committed. It seems kitchen table issues are still taking center stage with the coalition.

Those who voted for PH in 2018 are no longer enthusiastic about the coalition or at least unenthusiastic about its leader bringing it into GE15.

Before, we thought he was a great choice, but not anymore, especially in the future. Voters now see him as representing the past rather than the future. He over-promised early on and it looks like he could be underdelivering quite significantly.

Voters, especially those who voted for change in 2018, now want to move on.

Maybe inside the coalition there is still trust. Perhaps he is of the opinion and convinced that he understands the political headwinds he will face and that he feels optimistic.

With the implosion of Umno, PH has only months before GE15 to register tangible achievements that it can sell to voters as a victory. Voters don’t feel like anything has been accomplished by PH in the past two years. It is not because of the rakyat’s desire for instant gratification. It is because the problems are of such magnitude.

A good policy is a good policy. It is important that PH crosses the finish line.

If the downward drift of the coalition continues, tensions and frustrations within the coalition parties are bound to worsen.

Die-hard PH supporters are likely to argue that there is a worrying gap between the coalition’s achievements so far and the perception of the electorate. They will explain it because the coalition received a horribly bad deck of cards and what they are doing on the merits is much better than they are credited with – even with all the problems.

PH does not need documents; he just needs to come up with new workable and achievable ideas and show the rakyat that its leaders care more than power.

It represents people and gives them a way to voice complaints, grievances, or issues that they believe would negatively affect their lives, those of people on the street, or their children’s future. In other words, PH as an opposition – like the government – is also responsible for defending the best interests of the people, at least from their point of view. – June 29, 2022.

*FLK reads The Malaysian Insight.

* This is the opinion of the author or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. The article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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