PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan will continue to be haunted by negative perceptions linked to its 22 months in power as long as there is no change in its leadership, according to an analyst.
Commenting on PH’s acknowledgement of its poor performance as a government, Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) said PH was still living in a pre-Sheraton Move world.
In the Sheraton Move, several leaders in the ruling coalition, notably Muhyiddin Yassin and Azmin Ali, met PAS and Umno leaders to discuss cooperation. This was followed by a series of political events that culminated in PH’s downfall.
Before the February 2020 betrayal, Fauzi noted, PH enjoyed popular backing and its actions as the elected government were seen as justified. “Now though, unless PH changes its leadership, it will be haunted by its 22 months in power.”
Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen has attributed his party’s heavy loss in the recent state elections to voters’ disappointment with PH’s performance when it held federal power.
There are currently disagreements among PH strongmen on the question of whether it would be beneficial to team up with Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his followers again to attract enough numbers to form a government.
PH has been struggling to garner votes from the Malay majority, and Fauzi noted that Bumiputera voters contributed to its huge defeats in the Melaka and Sarawak elections.
“The Malay withdrawal of support for PH indicates that the propaganda accusing DAP of foisting its agenda onto the larger PH programme is believed by many Malays,” he told FMT.
“PH hasn’t done enough to counter this impression.”
He said the PH parties needed to settle areas of disagreement, abandon or at least make dormant the apparently extreme positions that could repel voters, and come up with a united, moderate stand before the next general election.