At this point in time I dare say that the Malaysian public is bombarded with political harangues on a daily basis. In fact, you could say that we have grown accustomed to politicians on both sides of the political divide tossing rhetoric in a bid to appeal to potential voters. One bit of news that has received little attention was an issued raised in parliament recently by Member of Parliament for Bayan Baru Sim Tze Tzin (PKR). He had requested the home ministry to enumerate the reasons for the delay in approving Pakatan Harapan’s registration. Tze Tzin had asked if there was any additional criteria that the RoS needed. This had of course piqued my interest.

So why is this development interesting? There is a need to put things into perspective to better understand the opposition’s frustration over the matter. According to the chronology of events, on 24 July 2017 Pakatan Harapan had submitted its draft constitution to the Registrar of Societies (RoS) and its logo on 28 July. Following this the opposition coalition was instructed by RoS to amend its logo from “Harapan” to using its full name “Pakatan Harapan.” An amended logo was subsequently submitted as per ROS’s request. In September former leader Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had underscored that Pakatan Harapan has yet to be officially registered as a political party. Yet still no response from RoS.

Tze Tzin’s questions to Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was of course timely. In response Datuk Seri Zahid had said that the application was still under consideration and is being scrutinized for any security concerns. The response was rather surprising with a somewhat ominous tone to it. Is Pakatan Harapan a threat? Yes, from a political perspective but maybe less so from a security stand point.

With general elections merely a few months away this development is intriguing. Pakatan Harapan will use this as leverage to gain political mileage. Perhaps the government should make the process as transparent as possible to avoid further unnecessary accusations being hurled by the opposition, which is keen to be seen as a victim.

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