19 July 2017
Erstwhile foes Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim formally buried the hatchet for a common cause by sealing their revived alliance with a new compact to end the rule of Prime Minister Najib Razak at the ballot box. Their decision formed the bedrock of a restructured four-party opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan, which Mahathir, Anwar and Anwar’s wife jointly lead. It promises a formidable line-up to challenge the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) led by Najib’s UMNO in the coming general election to be called after September but before June next year.
Taking a significant step towards the grand alliance, Harapan called a joint press conference in the early hours of 14 July 2017 to announce a new leadership lineup, complete with a common logo. It was a sensitively arranged “functional leadership” of compromise and mutual accommodation by the component parties – Anwar’s PKR, Mahathir’s Bersatu, Lim Kit Siang’s DAP and Mohamad Sabu’s Amanah. Most significantly, it sealed the reconciliation between Mahathir and Anwar after their 18-year estrangement.
… Yang Razali Kassim is Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. An earlier version appeared in the Straits Times.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 19/07/2017