KUALA LUMPUR – December 14, 2016: A political observer holds the view that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia cannot be an official member of the opposition Pakatan Harapan pact so long as it sees the need for some form of cooperation with PAS, which is no longer part of the pact.
According to Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, president of the International Movement for a Just World (Just), it is critical for Pribumi Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to continue reaching out to PAS and persuade the party to form an electoral agreement with the rest of the opposition.
“We have to distinguish between electoral agreement and coalition agreement and in this case, I do not think Pakatan is hoping to form a coalition with PAS because that will require greater consensus on a lot of issues.
“They (Pakatan and Pribumi Bersatu) are striving for an agreement with PAS just so that they can ensure a straight contest against Barisan Nasional in the coming general election,” said Chandra.
And this, as Chandra puts it, cannot be achieved if PAS thinks Pribumi Bersatu is in cahoots with DAP and Amanah.
“PAS does not want to have anything to do with the two parties that have stabbed it in the back and the same goes for Amanah and DAP.
“But then again, there is no guarantee that Pribumi Bersatu will succeed in negotiating with PAS.
“If they fail to ensure a straight fight against BN, contesting in the next general election will be a difficult battle for them,” Chandra said.
Another subsidiary reason Chandra cited to explain Pribumi Bersatu’s reluctance in joining Pakatan is on who among the opposition leaders should be the prime minister.
In this case, Chandra believes Pribumi Bersatu definitely does not want to endorse jailed PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for that position.
“Unlike DAP, Amanah and PKR that had named Anwar, I think those in Pribumi Bersatu want someone like Muhyiddin.
“So, to see from this point of view, it would seem that the opposition’s latest attempt to rally together is still at its preliminary and problematic stage,” pointed out Chandra.
Others are of the view that even trying to come to an agreement with PAS is not going to be a piece of cake for Pribumi Bersatu in view of the warm ties seen of late between Umno and PAS.