There is a developing phenomenon in Malaysian politics. The traditional battle line of the ruling regime, Barisan Nasional (BN) against the oppositions is blurring. The traditional parties have been slowly breaking up and new formations may be expected soon.
We start with the ruling regime, BN. It is a coalition that is formed by major component parties such as United Malays National Organization (UMNO), Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), etc. However, MCA and MIC have now descended into mere mosquito parties. They have lost the support of their own community that they claim to represent because of UMNO's racial rhetoric and bully against the other communities. In fact, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) from Sarawak is now more important to UMNO than MCA or MIC. UMNO is not really helping the Malays as it claims either. UMNO is really becoming a race of its own serving its own selfish purpose.
You can see the cracks in the component parties within BN, even though the mainstream media is not allowed to report or comment on these. UMNO itself has 2 large factions, the group led of Najib Razak and the other group led by Mahathir Mohamed. The crack was caused by the Najib's use of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to allegedly channel money into his personal accounts. 1MDB saga is still unfolding and getting more complex than initial impressions.
BN has been living lavishly on money siphoned from the Government coffers since it came to power. Despite the differences of the component parties, they are all bound together by the magnet of money. They can live with all the irreconcilable differences as long as the key individuals in the respective parties get personal monetary gain, which is also famously known as 'donation'. It is not corruption. It is donation. As a consequence, the one with the most cash will lead the coalition. At this juncture, Najib is the 1 with the most cash that he has obtained from numerous dubious transactions of 1MDB.
On the opposition front, they have young leaders who are selfless politicians that have joined politics because they are against money politics. On the other hand, there are still many leaders in opposition parties who still behave like they are just alternative to BN in money politics.
Pakatan Rakyat, which had been the major opposition coalition, broke up last year after one of its key component party, Partai Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) led by Hadi Awang refused to cooperate with the other 2 component parties, namely Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Democratic Action Party (DAP). It is well known that Hadi has recently become a close confidant of Najib. Najib's donation is too attractive for Hadi to resist. Hadi is not a selfless politician but a money politician. As a result, PAS has split into 2 parts, PAS and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah). Amanah takes the bulk of selfless politicians out of PAS, e.g. Mat Sabu, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Salahuddin Ayub and Khalid Samad.
Pakatan Harapan, which is newly formed by PKR, DAP and Amanah, as the new major opposition front may not hold for long. The recent Sarawak state election shows that PKR and DAP cannot not work together either. The problem lies with PKR. It is a party consists of mostly disgruntled ex-UMNOs. They are led by Azmin Ali; behave like UMNO leaders; and indulge in money politics. It is rumoured that Azmin is getting more and more attracted to Najib's donation. PKR, of course, has several young leaders like Rafizi Ramli and N. Surendren who are selfless politicians. There not enough of them in PKR to cause a change of course. It will not be surprising that these selfless politicians are be forced to leave PKR at some point. It will not be a surprise that DAP, Amanah and a splinter group from PKR form a new coalition in the future as the major opposition to BN.
DAP itself is an old party with some of the old guards who think money politics is acceptable. They believe that they can behave like MCA leaders and win elections. Thankfully, DAP has a large pool of young and selfless leaders, Tony Pua, Gobind Singh, Liew Chin Tong, Hannah Yeoh, etc. It is believed that they should be able to hold DAP together despite the nuisances caused by the old guards. It is fortunate that Lim Kit Siang, as a senior DAP leader, is very supportive of the new and selfless politicians in DAP.
We should not be discouraged by the squabbles in the opposition front. I think it is healthy that the remaining money politicians are fighting against the larger and younger circle of selfless politicians. They cannot possibly get along ideologically. The breakdown of old order means we will see the rise of a new order. The new order will emerge because there is a need for it. For the sake of the country, I hope this new order is established sooner rather than later.
I do not have a crystal ball to tell what will happen to Malaysian politics in the future. I know that there is no monetary benefits to hold the oppositions together. I confidently believe that these selfless leaders will shed partisan influences and rise to form a cohesive coalition. A new coalition that can be trusted to take over from BN and not indulge in money politics. A new coalition that will end the culture of political 'donation'. Malaysia should not be synonymous with 'Do Nation', 'Bolehland' or 'Donation'.