DAP’s Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew’s recent attacks on the poor performance of Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad have triggered another round of heavy politicking within Pakatan Harapan (PH).
Political leaders from the 4 parties within the ruling coalition have spoken out their minds on the Sungai Pelek assemblyman’s remarks that Mahathir has had been a mere “paper tiger.”
The internal bickering amongst PH leaders has been glaringly evident.
It’s an open secret that PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim aspire to succeed Mahathir as the country’s next prime minister sooner than later.
Likewise Mahathir is dead against handing it over to Anwar in May 2020 as agreed in a pre-election PH deal.
During PH’s successful campaign in 14th General Election (GE14), held on May 9, 2018, virtually all leaders had promised the voters that Mahathir would only be an interim 7th Prime Minister (PM7) for a maximum 2 years before Anwar takes over as PM8.
Ronnie Liu’s seething attacks on Mahathir reminded everyone of that promise.
However, due to Mahathir’s feet-dragging in naming the exact date that he would handover his reins, speculations have rifed that a big trouble could explode in little Putrajaya soon.
The political instability has caused frequent policy flip-flops, broken promises, indecisive economic decisions and, disunity and suspicion amongst Malaysians of various ethnicities and religions.
PH leaders have regularly used Umno and PAS as scapegoats to conceal their own blunders and failures.
But majority people are no longer foolish to believe the fanciful blame game.
Internal bickering within PH seems to rear its ugly head with a fast pace for public entertainment each time there is a by-election around the corner,.
One cannot refute cynics’ claim that the PH internal squabbles could be a political reality show to hoodwink voters in the forthcoming by-election in Tanjung Piai parliamentary constituency.
The Election Commission (EC) has set November 2 as the nomination day and November 16 as polling day for the Johor seat.
The by-election was scheduled after incumbent MP, the later Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik died of heart complications on September 21.
The constituency consists 57% Malays, 42% Chinese and 1% Indians.
Tanjung Piai contest will be the 9th by election in the country since GE14 following by-elections for state seats of Sungai Kandis, Seri Setia, Balakong, Semenyih and Rantau; and federal seats of Port Dickson, Cameron Highlands and Sandakan.
PH candidate for the Tanjung Piai will be from Mahathir’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), while Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate could be from MCA in spite of Umno’s lobby.
Political observers had claimed that opposition BN could win Tanjung Piai, which is among the most mixed constituency in the country.
Political analysts had cautioned that the selection of candidate could play a significant factor.
For any candidate to win the by-election, the person must be able to muster votes from all communities.
Thus the theory that Mahathir has been playing race cards to entice the Malays while Ronnie Liu’s attacks against the PM7 was to help DAP to woo Chinese voters couldn’t be far off.
Another theory suggested that Ronnie Liu’s criticisms against the federal government, in which his party is an integral part, could be designed just to pin all blames on Mahathir for PH’s flops and broken promise.
If Mahathir finally steps down, according to DAP-led faction’s presumption, the new federal government under Anwar will come clean without any past baggage.
Next May is just 7 months away.
Time has riped for political mudslinging and character assassination campaign.
Between now and then, Malaysians will be fed with all sorts of political tales in the one upmanship political psy-war.
The juicy and spicy tales will spread like wildfire just to mould public opinion in a perception game that would benefit no one except aspirants for political positions, fortune and glory.
Political auction sales will be an open market where heavy bargaining and lucrative offers will take place to enable rival leaders to muster enough parliamentary numbers to stake their claims for the top post.
Ronnie Liu’s criticisms against Mahathir could be hinting at imminent intense political bickering. – 28 Oktober 2019.