Pakatan Harapan will fall flat on its face if its leaders do not show a united front to win voters in the next general election (GE), Anthony Loke said.
The newly appointed DAP secretary-general admitted the coalition has many weaknesses, a lack of unity being on one of them, which he said was obvious in the recent state elections.
“There are a lot of weaknesses that we need to overcome and PH, as a whole, must go back to the drawing board to chart a new strategy, to see how we can bring back that spirit of togetherness and the spirit of going into an election as a winning team.
“Lack of togetherness is one issue for sure. The key point is how we combine our strengths and put everyone together so that we can sway voters as one coalition.
“Going into the next GE, we need to have better understanding and to project a better image that we are here to stay, we are together and we still want to be in the coalition,” Loke told The Malaysian Insight.
PH suffered heavy defeats in the last three elections in Malacca, Sarawak and Johor.
While DAP was the better performer, its coalition partners PKR and Amanah suffered humiliating losses.
Loke said the coalition was not able to replicate its togetherness and strength it showed in the previous general elections.
“I think in the past two or three years, there were some instances where we were not able to project that (united) image, unlike in the past.
“In 2013 and 2018, we were so creative; we were united in our message and that resulted in victory for PH in 2018.
“Even back in 2013, we were able to put up a good fight due to strong cooperation among component parties,” he said.
On whether PKR’s decision to stand under its own logo instead of the PH one in the Sarawak and Johor elections had caused a split, Loke dismissed the matter as petty.
“The question is not about the logo, the question is if we are able to project that we are a coalition with the same mind, the same goal, and use that to inspire the public.
Loke said that a coalition is not about victory for one party but for every component of the coalition.
“There is no point if only DAP can win seats but our other partners are not able to win seats,” he said.
Loke said a recent meeting between PH chairman Anwar Ibrahim and Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin has not changed the position of the coalition.
The former transport minister said it was normal for political leaders on opposing sides to meet but added that any decision concerning the coalition would be made by all the component parties.
He stressed that no single party should make a unilateral decision.
“We do not need to be too fearful or suspicious of the meeting.
“The important principle and understanding in PH is that it must come back to the PH presidential council and for a decision based on consensus.
“No single party should make any unilateral moves. That is a key principle we hold here in PH,” he said.
Loke, however, said that DAP will still not work with Bersatu, the Perikatan Nasional anchor party.
“The party’s decision is clear despite suggestions from many political analysts calling for PH and PN to work together to defeat Barisan Nasional,” he said.
“As far as DAP is concerned, our position is clear. We do not have any relationship with Bersatu.
“Based on feedback, many (DAP grassroots members) said that it is difficult to accept cooperation with Bersatu because of its past record.
“So, any decision or future electoral strategy must be made by PH, taking into account all aspects and the sentiment on the ground.” – TMI