When one begins a relationship it is usually with high hopes and bright expectations. Most often than not the parties involved would find common interests that will connect them so that the relationship is more meaningful. For some the relationship can last a lifetime while for others it may come to an end, amicably or otherwise. It is sometimes difficult to know when a relationship is over even when it is obvious. No matter how hard partners try their relationships just do not work. Of course it is never easy to give up on a relationship particularly one that lasted a good number of years. Now a political relationship has its own set of baggage. It is often a ‘marriage of convenience,’ orchestrated for personal gain or some other sort of strategic purpose. This was the case for Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) and the People’s Justice Party (PKR).
In May 2017 PAS officially ended all links and cooperation with PKR asserting that the move was necessary to defend the party’s Islamic agenda. The repercussion of PAS’ decision continues to reverberate till today. The political marriage between PKR and PAS had served its purpose for as long as it could. Efforts by PKR to save the relationship was futile. But PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali has not given up hope. Rather he remains relentless and hopeful that some form of partnership can be formed. In fact, following his recent appointment as Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) election director Datuk Seri Azmin had reiterated his commitment to convince PAS to cooperate with the opposition coalition during the next general elections. Meanwhile PAS seems steadfast in its decision to move forward without forging any alliances with the opposition coalition.
The Selangor Chief Minister’s statement has reportedly caused unease within the opposition coalition as well as within his own party. In the latest twist, Selayang Member of Parliament William Leong resigned from PKR’s political bureau as he disagreed with the party’s insistence to negotiate with PAS despite the Islamic party having severed ties already. Since then banners in support of William Leong has emerged.
Relationships and coalitions are a permanent part of the mix in Malaysia’s political setting. Datuk Seri Azmin is acutely aware that by having PAS commit to some form of loose alliance with PH that it will strengthen the opposition’s position to unseat the incumbent government. It remains to be seen if he will be able to bring together this bickering couple given their deep political divide.