Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The DAP-PAS spitting contest

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DAP’s Lim Guan Eng has instructed his lawyers to begin legal proceedings against PAS’s Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi for his inflammatory remarks.

Nasrudin publicly suggested that there was impropriety in the award of the undersea tunnel project in Penang. He also painted what Lim said was a misleading picture of Penang’s state finances, quoting unsubstantiated figures to push his case for mismanagement.
At a press conference last week, Lim gave impressive evidence to show that Nasrudin’s accusations were fallacious and mischievous. Surely, Lim’s supporters would have recovered from the briefest loss of confidence in him.

So what does Lim gain in continuing with his ego stretching exercise? Months from now, he may be entitled to claim his pound of flesh. But what does it do to the already severely strained relationship between coalition partners DAP, PKR, and PAS against the backdrop of Selangor’s current troubles?
Although Lim says the tensions are of a personal nature and should not taint party relations, DAP Youth has fallen in line behind him, as will PAS Youth behind Nasrudin in a silly game of one-upmanship. This has become a spitting contest.
This probably isn’t the straw to break the camel’s back, but it certainly is a giant wedge that has the potential to prise the Pakatan partners apart.
Indeed, just yesterday, Lim demonstrated some of his belligerence in demanding an immediate statement from PAS that makes clear whether it is “supporting Umno” in the Khalid Ibrahim affair.
DAP and PAS have coexisted admirably these last six years. No one would fault them for the occasional hiccup.
It is PKR’s moderate, mediatory role in the family that keeps these two antithetical siblings together. Now that PKR itself is tussling with PAS over the expulsion of Khalid, its calming presence is lost.
Pakatan becomes a spinning top that loses its centre of balance, wobbles, and tips over.
With PKR busy minding its own troubles, there is little to keep polar opposites DAP and PAS from splitting apart naturally. The common goals that conveniently united them for GE12 and GE13 seem hopelessly inadequate as glue.
If both their ideological positions do not moderate towards the centre, where middle-Malaysia lives, breathes and eats, then the prognosis for this partnership is bleak.
Should they continue along their fractious paths then they must content themselves with scraps at the fringe, and never the twain shall meet in Putrajaya.
The Selangor storm has exposed the fragility of the Pakatan pact, the inconsonance of their differences making them more natural adversaries than partners.
Deficient in political maturity and ideologically inflexible, they will find it nearly impossible to carry their aggregate political aspirations to fruition at this rate.

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