Malaysian opposition coalition collapses

Malaysian opposition alliance falls apart due to difference of opinion

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Malaysia’s opposition coalition which was the strong rival for the country’s long-ruling regime collapsed over a series of political disputes, a party official said on Tuesday.

The Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance increased the number of its popular votes significantly in the 2013 election and became the strongest alternative of the governing party which has ruled the country since independence in 1957.

Democratic Action Party (DAP) Chief Lim Guan Eng said his party wouldn't take part in any cooperation with the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) which implemented Islamic penal code in the northeastern state of Kelantan and raised the tension between the coalition members.

“Pakatan Rakyat [People’s Pact] therefore ceases to exist,” Lim said in a statement.

The political coalition was made up by the People's Justice Party (PKR), the Democratic Action Party (DAP), and the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) in 2008 following the 12th Malaysian general election. The DAP has 37 of 222 seats as the PKR 28, and PAS 21 in the parliament currently.

In 2013 elections Rakyat won 52 percent of the popular vote in return for growing anger against the United Malays National Organisation over authoritarianism and recurring corruption scandals.

The United Malays National Organisation is founder of the governing Barisan Nasional coalition which has dominated Malaysian policy since independence in 1957.

The opposition alliance took first knock with the jailing of its charismatic leader Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the People's Justice Party (PKR), for the sodomising charges.

It is hard to predict impacts of the separation in Malaysia policy, according to Tan Seng Keat, an analyst from the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research.

“The ripple effect of this is that there will be a political realignment in Malaysia over the next few years, with some in the [governing coalition] defecting as well,” said Tan.

TRTWorld and agencies