Currently, there is a difference in opinion among opposition parties on whether to have a big tent approach in facing the resurgent Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in the next general election.
Some political analysts believe such an approach is a realistic way for an electoral victory.
Since the heavy opposition defeats in the Malacca, Sarawak and Johor state elections, some opposition leaders are of the view that they should not be arrogant and start listening to the other side for common progress.
The fact is Pakatan Harapan (PH), due to the current weak leadership of Anwar Ibrahim, has not come up with concrete plans to strengthen and consolidate the coalition. He has not created a dynamic and distinctive alternative for the common people. His politics has been basically reactive.
Furthermore, the political forces in Malaysia have not reached a mature stage of acceptance of truth in politics, with acknowledgement of good policies and working together for the common good of the nation.
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The absence of a shadow cabinet itself shows how poorly PH has developed since the ‘Sheraton Move’ in February 2020.
Today, there are various issues facing the nation – such as the decline of the economy, increased corruption, a growing gap between the rich and the poor, the marginalisation of workers, and climate change – that need our attention.
The big tent approach of including ethno-religious conservative parties like Bersatu and Pejuang would dilute and jeopardise the dire need for a progressive political, economic and social system in the country.
The big tent approach could be a realistic model for an electoral alliance seeking victory, but it is not a governing alliance that is durable enough to benefit the people in terms of credible and distinguishable alternative governance.
It’s time PH listened to progressive views from the likes of Rafizi Ramli and Nurul Izzah Anwar for the coalition to move forward.
The DAP should stop looking for strong tigers to ride upon like Dr Mahathir Mohamad or Anwar, like it did in the past.
It should start listening to the grievances of grassroots communities and work with the younger generation of leaders who have the capability of bringing in a more progressive socioeconomic system in the country.
For the nation to move forward, there is a need for a distinctive alternative in politics and not a so-called mixture of the old and new systems. It was a testimony and evidence of what the so-called big tent approach of mixing up old corrupt and new systems could do to the nation. – Free Malaysia Today