A political battle is set to take place on 20 November, which has the elements of “friendly fire” and hung principles.
For one thing, the state polls will see political allies of Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Barisan Nasional (BN) at the federal level fighting each other for state seats.
Both coalitions will be gunning for all the 28 seats in the assembly in the way any shrewd political foe would, especially in multi-cornered fights. It is the kind of political liaison that exists in a dog-eat-dog world where no political romance is sacred.
Perhaps this explains why the Pas leadership, which is supposedly concerned about this internecine clash, warned that there are designs to wreck the unity of the ummah (the Muslim community).
Pas is unhappy that Umno, its purported ally in the debilitating Muafakat Nasional, is going solo in this state contest against Bersatu and Pas. This has left Pas having to rely only on Bersatu. So much for unity.
The Islamist party is worried that votes will be split at least three ways, especially in constituencies where it will have to fight tooth and nail against Umno and Pakatan Harapan.
Bad blood might emerge between the two allies of the Malay-Muslim administration.
Pushed against this backdrop, PN leaders are nonetheless optimistic that their partnership in Putrajaya will still be hunky-dory.
To be sure, ‘party-hoppers’ Idris Haron and Nor Azman Hassan are also contesting after they gained the warm embrace of the PH leadership, particularly PKR and Amanah.
The PH government was brought to its knees early last year by defections within their ranks in a plot called the Sheraton Move. This brought about severe condemnation, and rightly so, by PH leaders over what they considered as a heinous betrayal.
That is why the admission of the two party-hoppers in Malacca, better known as ‘frogs’, into the PH fold has confounded and appalled Muda leader Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who felt that PH did what it once vehemently criticised. Principles have been compromised.
A frog by any other name (even if labelled a “principled frog”) is still a frog to Syed Saddiq and other concerned Malaysians, who expect PH to make a substantive difference to our political culture, where governments fell because of betrayal.
It also gives hollowness to PH’s supposed support for an ‘anti-hopping’ law that aims to help deter party defections.
The acceptance of two of four assembly members obviously made the DAP upset, to the extent it did not attend a recent event where PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim and Amanah’s Mohamad Sabu announced the names of the PH candidates.
In historic Malacca, where the legendary Hang Jebat was said to have rebelled against the palace over the supposed death of his close friend Hang Tuah by the Malacca sultan (but only to act like an anarchist eventually), it is hoped that Malacca voters would “rebel” against bad politics for a good cause.
Malacca folk should make an informed choice at the ballot box to remind politicians that they place due importance on integrity, trust, justice, accountability and common decency in our political culture. – The Malaysian Insight