Is PH-BN the ceasefire alliance we need?

21 Nov 2022 05:22pm
Farhash Wafa Salvador
Farhash Wafa Salvador
SHAH ALAM - What was just days ago a most unlikely post-15th general elections alliance between Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) now seems closer to reality than ever, more so with the alliance kicking off with the formation of the new Perak government.

Exactly how this will be received by the grassroots of both sides in what was previously the greatest divide in Malaysian politics remains to be seen, but former Perak PKR chief Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak said this could be the antidote to long-standing issues surrounding racial politics and inject stability into the political scene.

"We have to ask ourselves what all the animosity, especially surrounding racial politics and race relations in the past has been about. Honestly, it was nothing to do with Malays being against other races, but in fact political narratives to the benefit of certain parties and to the damage of the other. This has had a severe impact on not just political stability but society in general," said Farhash.

"Should this PH-BN alliance come to fruition, in one sweep we remove the need for such narratives. Umno will now see what DAP is all about by working together and vice versa. People will see for themselves that even the most brutal of enemies can come to an understanding for the sake of the nation."

Farhash added that fears of PH leaders, especially PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, compromising principles for the sake of power were unfounded.

"Anwar has stated and reiterrated that he would rather not become Prime Minister than sacrifice his principles, especially in view of corruption. We are a party built on the reform agenda and that does not include submitting to the demands of individuals. I do not believe any agreement to form this alliance was made on condition of the Prime Minister interfering in court cases currently being faced by Umno leaders. Those are just blind accusations which will be proven wrong.

"No component of PH has ever set any conditions to be part of our current alliance. It was built on shared principles and vision for the nation," said Farhash.

Asked of the impact of the alliance on Malay-centric Umno, Farhash said Umno leaders were split with some alligned to Perikatan Nasional (PN) under Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin wanting to form an alliance with them, while other were more concerned about the future and survival of Umno.

"It is quite clear that Umno's future as the dominant Malay party is being slowly diminished by Bersatu. It was the reason why Bersatu was formed and Muhyiddin himself has stated this as their aim on numerous occasions. So, I understand the fears and discomfort within Umno of an alliance with PN. Maybe that was the signal for them to reject PN," said Farhash.
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"In PH, although the chairman is from PKR, there is no dominant party. All components are equal and decisions are made on consensus. It will be something Umno needs to understand. But at the same time, we are all working together to safeguard Malay interests, as we are with every single Malaysian of any race. If anything, I see a lot of positives in such an alliance and I am glad to see that it has already kicked off in Perak with a PH-BN government confirmed to be formed today."

Of the people's distrust in the PH government based on narratives that much damage was done during the coalition's 22-month reign between May 2018 and March 2020, Farhash said the personalities that failed the PH government are now in Perikatan Nasional.

"That was a PH government that contained Bersatu and PKR defectors, with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Prime Minister, Muhyiddin as Home Minister, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali as Economic Affairs Minister, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah as Foreign Minister, Zuraida Kamaruddin as Housing and Local Government Minister, along with characters like Rina Harun, Kamaruddin Jaafar and the rest who were part of the Sheraton Move and are not part of PH," said Farhash.

"They held all the key positions and they were the ones in control of the previous PH government, but are conveniently blaming it all on DAP, even saying it was a government controlled by DAP, which is ridiculous.

"For example, there was a huge uproar among the Malays over the rectification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), which was the full responsibility of Saifuddin Abdullah, who was the Foreign Minister. He is now part of Bersatu who are in PN, but people are still blaming DAP for it. "People should realise that all those who failed or had serious issues, even controversies in the previous PH government are all now part of Perikatan Nasional.

"Moreover, we should also ask PAS if they trust Muhyiddin, who once labelled them 'Parti Ajaran Sesat' (heretic party), which was a very serious accusation. If PAS were indeed an heretic party, then Muhyiddin should have banned them when he was Home Minister, not get into bed with them. The same with accusations of DAP being communist, Muhyiddin had the power to ban them when he was Home Minister and Deputy Prime Minister under the BN government, but he did not."

He added if there were even fears of any threat to the rights of Malays as have been turned into controversy previously, can now be countered and kept in check directly from within, as was the case with fears of pilferage and corruption.

"I see an alliance that will bring stability and most importantly allow us to focus on building the nation and serving the people without being constantly interrupted by uneccessary racial issues, which at the end of the day merely stem from power struggles," said Farhash.

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