Pakatan Harapan’s credibility problem

For decades the DAP led Pakatan coalition in their various form portrayed themselves as the one size fit all solution for every Malaysian needs. They worked on creating the perception that they were the best and demonised anyone and anything that did not fit their agenda.

But many have since realised the coalition has been in power for the past nine months is that they have a credibility problem. Apparently Pakatan believes in the fight against graft or kleptocracy; integrity and credibility can be overlooked.

Just a few days ago, Marzuki Yahya, a Deputy Foreign Minister, was caught claiming that he was a graduate of the prestigious University of Cambridge. Instead, it was an  One would think that the coalition that claimed to be the gold standard of Malaysian politics would just stand down the minister and apologise for the incident. That did not happen. Marzuki’s party, Bersatu, defended him claiming “at least he didn’t rape or steal”. 

Others such as Rais Yatim claimed that Marzuki wasn’t picked for his qualification and a degree is not required for politics. It was also claimed that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook and Bill Gates did not have a university degree, suggesting that Marzuki is of that tier. As of today, Marzuki is waiting for Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed to “decide” on his case. Any minister with a shred of integrity would have resigned on his own accord after apologising to the public.

A Deputy Foreign Minister role, is supposed to be held by a highly educated Malaysian selected based on merit. There are many Malaysians who spent decades overseas could do this role. But Pakatan chose a political appointee.

Since taking office, the coalition has been affected by major trust issues with the voters. First, by claiming that they are unable to commit to the election manifesto due to a fictional national debt that no rating agencies support and is not present in any official records. Yet, it did not stop Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng to talk about it far and wide. The Prime Minister still talks about Malaysia going “bankrupt” completely ignoring the fact that more than fifty countries have to go bankrupt before Malaysia in order for that to happen.

Not to forget that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng claimed that China were involved in trying to cover up the 1MDB problems and that they were “corrupt”. Malaysia’s relationship has been cold at best since then with China cancelling crude palm oil (CPO) purchases in retaliation.

Just last week, Pakatan also celebrated Xavier Andre Justo as a “whistleblower”.  A man who admitted that he stole from his employers with intention to blackmail them and then passed them on to Sarawak Report’s Claire Rewcastle-Brown and Edge’s Tong Kooi Ong for a tidy sum of RM 8.2 million. The Sarawak Report editor, who also allegedly worked with former Malaysian Bar president Ambiga Sreenivasan in fabricating the story of the RM 90 million payment from UMNO to PAS. The Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) is currently looking into the allegation.

Pakatan has always played on sensationalising issues for political mileage. The last general election which it won by making 1MDB the “worst thing ever” got it the voters. But sensationalism isn’t credibility. And Pakatan keeps falling short of this due to its inability to recognise that it can do wrong. Even its most hard core supporters are now seeing through the layers of deceit that it had put up to get into power.

Pakatan Harapan failed at delivering policies, then it failed at governance. And now it is failing integrity and credibility test.

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