Missed opportunity for Dr M to lead a unity government

For about one week the nation has been in a state of extreme anxiety and uncertainty. We saw a clash of emotions, prejudices and personal ambitions, with the people left at a loss.

Despite the apparent chaos, it is commendable that all parties are one way or another trying their best to act within their capacity and limit of laws to resolve the present problems.

However, each side is hindered by their deep-rooted suspicions, resulting in conditions like such and such party does not want to cooperate with such party, or such individuals.

Such self-imposing restrictions prevent the emergence of any brave and ingenious solutions.

Of all the different conflicting claims and proposals, in my view, the most desirable formula was the initial decision expressed by all parties to revert to Dr Mahathir Mahathir so that he can ensure stability.

Judging from the statements issued by all parties, Mahathir received overwhelming and expressive support. He then proposed the concept of a national unity government as a new governing platform to accommodate the different needs and demands.

The unity government formula was not original and it has been practiced in many countries in time of crisis.

This proposal might be unfamiliar to the Malaysian public. It may not be the most ideal way out but it would be the quickest means to end this stalemate with least risks.

This is not about giving Mahathir an extension of his political legacy. The situation reflects the failure of all political parties to produce a new generation of capable leaders who could take up a collective leadership to take up the responsibility of nation building.

At present, we lack leaders who can command sufficient trust and respect to lead the country out of this fluid and messy situation.

In my view, MPs should have given a solid mandate to Mahathir to return to the helm of the next government.

This could enable him to gather all political parties and forces to negotiate and reach a new consensus for the way forward. Unfortunately, all parties adopted a hardline position refusing to compromise and to seek common ground.

Now, I believe that the opportunity for dialogue and to reach a new national consensus is gone. It is regrettable that the parties have decided to forgo dialogue and reconciliation, instead opting for rivalry and conflicts.

Some people are inclined to single out a few rebel MPs from PKR as the cause of all the problems. This simplistic blaming exercise is rather naive and unhelpful to resolve the impasse.

Mohamed Azmin Ali and others were my party comrades. They had to make decisions based on the circumstances at the time.

Lambasting and thrashing our former party colleagues as traitors will change nothing, except to expose one’s insecurity.

Currently, we need leadership with a clear rational mind. Let’s reflect ourselves on the steps and tactics adopted by our leadership since the 14th general election victory.

Now that we are in this state of confusion, we should examine what is at stake rather than releasing frustration by attacking friends or foes.

With the Yang di-Pertuan calling for the final round of determination, it seems that the dust can finally settle very soon. I appeal to the party leadership to stop witch-hunting and rather focus on working out solutions to conclude this pandemonium.

No matter who will be the eventual winner in the race, I hope this episode would be the last of the unproductive political squabbles for the present term of Parliament.

All sides must accept the result and end the feuds and clashes so that we can concentrate on the real work to reconstruct this country.

What happened over the last week may be a reboot to start afresh.

Tian Chua is the vice-president of PKR.

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.