A prominent member of Amanah has urged Pakatan Harapan (PH) to widen its scope of cooperation for the Johor election by including Perikatan Nasional (PN) in its list of allies, in a sign that the opposition coalition may again be staring at defeat in the upcoming Johor polls.
Mazlan Aliman, a popular former social activist from PAS who joined Amanah in its early days, warned that if PH decided to go to the polls in its current shape, it would again face defeat similar to the recent Melaka election.
“PH which comprises PKR, Amanah, DAP and Upko would be as good as surrendering to Barisan Nasional (BN) if it maintains the status quo from Melaka and Sarawak,” he said.
In the Melaka polls, BN returned to form the state government following an election which saw a setback for PH, especially PKR which was wiped out of the state assembly.
Bersatu meanwhile managed to retain its two seats, while analysts concurred that the party’s candidates were the cause of PH’s defeats in Malay-majority seats.
Mazlan said the recent call by PH chairman Anwar Ibrahim to work with other opposition parties should also include Bersatu and PAS, the key components of the PN coalition led by Muhyiddin Yassin.
“Bersatu and PAS were also part of the Johor administration but they were not invited to discuss the dissolution of the state assembly,” he said, adding that Umno had not appreciated PN.
He also said there was a danger that Umno’s victory in Johor could see the return of “kleptocrats”.
“This would pave its way for GE15 and its goal of winning a two-thirds majority in Parliament in order to realise its agenda,” he added.
“Do PH and the public at large wish to return to a kleptocratic episode as was the case before?” asked Mazlan, adding that cooperation with Bersatu and PAS would create “the biggest coalition”.
“This would be a true depiction of Keluarga Malaysia,” he said, referring to the tagline introduced by Ismail Sabri Yaakob after he was sworn in as prime minister.
Mazlan said Umno appeared confident of securing yet another victory in Johor, descrbing the party as “arrogant”.
He was confident that such an opposition pact could effectively defeat BN, citing the cooperation which saw PH coming to power in 2018.
Yesterday, Muhyiddin said his bloc was ready to face the election in Johor despite not being consulted about the decision to dissolve the state assembly.
The Johor coalition government led by BN had held 28 state seats through Umno (14 seats), MIC (two), Bersatu (11) and PAS (one), while PH held 27 seats through DAP (14), PKR (seven), and Amanah (six).
The state was under PH before its collapse following Bersatu’s exit from the coalition in the wake of what has come to be known as the Sheraton Move.
Mazlan said it would not be easy for PH leaders to ignore the Sheraton Move, describing the episode as “bitter” and “tragic”.
But he said PH “must be big-hearted” for the sake of the people whom he said felt betrayed by the mandate given to PH in the last polls.