Rarely do divorces end on amicable terms. Those that do are the exception rather than the norm. Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) recently announced its decision to end the ‘political marriage’ formed with the People’s Justice Party (PKR). The two parties are now squabbling over the presence of each other’s party representatives in the states of Kelantan and Selangor respectively. It is evident that ties between the two have soured beyond repair.
Having burned the bridge with its final opposition partner, PAS will undoubtedly head into the next general elections alone. Although talks are rife of a possible cooperation between PAS and the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) it remains ambiguous. While it is anyone’s guess when Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak will call for elections, what is certain is that Malaysia’s political landscape just got interesting. The political meltdown between PAS and its former allies will likely result in three or four-cornered fights for parliamentary or states seats under the present circumstances. Nonetheless PAS is adamant that this is the way forward for the party.
Meanwhile Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition partners are still ironing out many issues including on PH’s leadership and on the seat allocation. Markedly each party is also bogged down with its own internal issues. Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) secretary-general Lim Guan Eng stands accused of corruption and may not be able to run in the forthcoming polls whereas Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) is going through a crisis just barely a year since it was founded with the departure of party members en masse. For now PKR and PAS splinter group Amanah has managed to keep problems at bay.
PAS’s decision to break away from Pakatan Rakyat in 2015 continues to reverberate till today. It left the opposition fractured and in a very precarious position when before the alliance was deemed a force to be reckoned with. It has also left many voters bewildered. At the heart of the matter are the valuable Malay votes. Where does their allegiance lie – with UMNO, PAS, or PPBM, AMANAH and PKR?