PETALING JAYA: Former deputy defence minister Liew Chin Tong says the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government failed to build sufficient trust at the top-level leadership which allowed the coalition to be sabotaged.
He said the sabotage came from among PH ministers, while the lack of trust also paved the way for differences to be manipulated from a racial perspective.
“If we could have framed ourselves in the middle and held on to it, resisting the temptation to respond to the fringes, the extreme voices, and firmly put the middle ground in place, perhaps it would have been better,” he told Astro Awani in an interview tonight.
Liew described PH as a “grand coalition” due to conflicting views in the alliance, highlighting that there were differences between Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s supporters and Anwar’s, as well as DAP and PPBM.
“It was basically an impossible alliance. But there was a common cause, and it was so strong.
“The desire, aspiration, necessity to defeat Najib Razak was so strong, so everyone worked together,” he said.
Liew said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government would be able to gain legitimacy if it performed better than the PH administration, highlighting the areas of economy and anti-corruption.
He said most voters had cast their ballots in the previous election for a clean government and for better economic conditions, stressing that this has not changed.
“He came through the backdoor but if the struggling M40 and the B40s feel he’s doing good for them, then he can actually gain economic legitimacy,” he said, acknowledging that Muhyiddin came into power at a difficult time.
“I think deep inside, he knows that the ground has not shifted.
“Those who voted for a clean government and better economic conditions are still the same people who will still be voting in the coming elections for the same thing,” he said.