The problem PPBM is facing with the RoS is a god-send for DAP because now Pakatan Harapan may not get registered — and that means DAP can maintain its rocket logo for the coming GE. Kit Siang knows if the DAP candidates contest the GE under the Harapan banner they will lose a lot of Chinese support and they need at least 95% of the Chinese votes since the Malay votes have deteriorated. Mahathir, who is seen as Pakatan Harapan’s ‘top dog’, carries with him the stigma that DAP can ill-afford and thus it needs to distance itself from Pakatan Harapan.
DAP: THE INSIDE STORY
Raja Petra Kamarudin
(The Straits Times, 18 July 2017) – Former Malaysian premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today boldly claimed that he is the “top dog” in Pakatan Harapan (PH), now that he is the chairman of the four-party opposition pact.
His claim came days after he reportedly said that every party leader in the pact was “equal among each other” and no one would be sidelined. Explaining that he was equivalent to the opposition’s “unofficial” prime minister designate Dr Mahathir said someone needs to take the lead as a country cannot have three prime ministers.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s declaration of being the ‘top dog’ of Pakatan Harapan (and unofficial prime minister designate) is something many already know. But it is not supposed to be something that you declare openly (just like everyone knows Anwar Ibrahim is guilty of sodomy but no one from Pakatan should openly say so). Mahathir, however, broke the golden rule of opposition politics, which is do not openly declare what is really going on.
DAP’s Superman Hew went to great pains to tell the Chinese that Lim Kit Siang is merely using Mahathir to make the Malays fight amongst themselves. Kit Siang wanted to impress upon the Chinese that Mahathir was his Ali Baba and that Pakatan Harapan is actually Pakatan Ali Baba. Then Mahathir goes and messes it all up by declaring that he is Pakatan Harapan’s ‘top dog’.
Kit Siang was smart enough to not immediately jump in and contradict Mahathir. He kept silent and allowed Mahathir to get away with the ‘top dog’ quip. But Kit Siang knew that the damage had already been done and there was no way DAP can contest UNDER the banner of Pakatan Harapan and using the Harapan logo. DAP had to distance itself from Pakatan Harapan without being seen as if DAP was divorcing Pakatan Harapan.
DAP had already initiated one divorce not too long ago: meaning Pakatan Rakyat. So they cannot be seen to be initiating a second divorce: meaning Pakatan Harapan. In fact, if you include Barisan Alternatif, Pakatan Harapan would be the third divorce that DAP’s initiates. Hence DAP must let the Registrar of Societies (RoS) be the instrument of the Pakatan Harapan divorce. Then DAP would not be seen as the culprit in this second (or third) divorce.
The feedback DAP got is that many Chinese are unhappy that Mahathir is Pakatan Harapan’s top dog. The impression they were initially given is that DAP is leading Pakatan Harapan and Kit Siang is Pakatan Harapan’s top dog. So when Mahathir announced he is Pakatan Harapan’s top dog why did DAP keep quiet and not contradict that statement? Even the normally barking Superman Hew appeared muzzled this time.
Kit Siang knew that disagreeing with Mahathir would not only upset the old man, who never likes to be told he is wrong, but will give the Malays the impression that the Chinese are calling the shots in Pakatan Harapan. And they need as much Malay votes as they can get because even if DAP can get 95% of the Chinese votes that is not enough.
In short, DAP needs to divorce from Pakatan Harapan but must not be seen as the one initiating the divorce. They need to let the RoS initiate the divorce so that DAP can pretend to be the innocent victim and not the aggressor.