KUALA LUMPUR – January 12, 2018: As the country looks forward to the next general elections with much anticipation, there are some amongst activists known who doubt that the much talked-about Pakatan Harapan pact is indeed the catalyst for change or the best option for those who want to see the present government ousted.
One activist who questions the direction taken by Pakatan is lawyer Haris Ibrahim, especially with regard to the decision to name former prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as its prime minister designate.
“On one hand, the Pakatan Harapan parties have talked about ending race politics but now we see Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia there, a Malay party.
“I heard last year Mahathir saying that if Pakatan wins, the Malays don’t need to worry… Mahathir will look after them and Lim Kit Siang will look after the Chinese.
“Excuse me but that sounds like Barisan Nasional all over again. That’s not my politics.
“My reform agenda for this nation is very simple — no more race politics. We should not be dividing this country into bumi (Bumiputra) and non-bumi,” remarked Haris, who was jailed eight months in 2013 for uttering seditious statements while delivering an anti-government speech.
Another activist met at a forum titled “Is Mahathir a solution for a better Malaysia?” last night was Nathaniel Tan, who used to work for opposition politicians.
Other speakers at the forum were Malay Mail Online editor Fathi Aris Omar, Pribumi Bersatu head strategist Dr. Rais Hussin, activist Hishammudin Rais and ex-PKR member Badrul Hisham Shaharin.
Tan he feels that Pakatan has not inspire a lot of confidence.
“Over the last few years we’ve been seeing things like the Kajang Move. It’s just like waking up one morning and wanting to change the mentri besar.
“If you look at BN, there is no question about the Umno president being PM, no matter what. If you look at PH, this time it might be PPBM (Pribumi Bersatu), next time PKR… do they take turns? In this situation, there’s uncertainty.
“They haven’t been building a real foundation based on principles, shared policies and things like that. I think more work needs to be done on that,” suggests Tan.
On what he thinks of Mahathir as Pakatan’s prime minister designate, Tan described it not a question with a very definite answer.
“Is he likely to have bigger electoral impact for Pakatan? Yes. Is he a much better solution for the country in the long run… That’s less clear.”