MCA: Demise of Malaysia's opposition Pakatan Rakyat alliance not surprising

KOTA BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The breakdown of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance has come as no surprise to the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), its party vice-president Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung said on Wednesday.

He added that unlike the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, the PR has three different political ideologies and was forged for convenience, without a common political strategy.

"MCA had expected this to happen and we are experienced enough to see through this ploy by PR," Dr Hou said.

The MCA is one of the component parties of the BN coalition, which also includes the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) and the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), among other parties.

"BN went through a history of ups and downs within a span of more that 50 years and where we are today is based on trust and understanding among coalition partners like Umno, MCA, MIC and other coalition partners," he told The Star after handing over cheques worth RM840,000 to eight primary and secondary government-assisted schools under the 2014 Budget in Kota Baru on Wednesday.

Dr Hou was asked to comment on the collapse of the PR as declared by DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng on Tuesday as a result of its dispute with Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) over PAS's calls for strict Islamic law.

DAP's partner in the PR alliance, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), in a statement on Wednesday also acknowledged that the alliance no longer exists formally.

Dr Hou added that based on the present scenario, voters in opposition-held Selangor will have to wait and see what happens in the state.

"The voters in Selangor will see whether the state government is functional or not in the coming months because the collapse of PR has put PKR in a tough spot to decide whether they will go with PAS or DAP or stay neutral," Dr Hou said.

Depite the PKR's statement on Wednesday, sources have told The Star the Selangor state government would continue to function as a loose coalition of assemblymen who support PKR's deputy president Azmin Ali as the Menteri Besar.