Six survival tests for the Anwar Ibrahim unity government in its first year in office

The question uppermost in Malaysians’ minds is whether the Anwar Ibrahim unity government will last five years.

There are five survival tests for the Anwar Ibrahim unity government in its first year in office.

They are:

  1. The election of the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat on 19th December 2022;
  2. The passing of the vote of confidence motion in Anwar Ibrahim as the Prime Minister of Malaysia in Parliament on 20th December 2022;
  3. The UMNO General Assembly on January 11-14, 2023 to elect new office-bearers;
  4. Passage in Parliament of the Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address at the Opening of Parliament, which in effect, is the government’s policy programme for the year; and
  5. Approval for the 2023 Budget.

If the Anwar Ibrahim unity government can survive these five tests in the next few months, it will then have to face the sixth test — the general elections in six states of Penang, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu.

Perikatan Nasional (PN) will do its utmost to make gains in these six states to topple the Anwar Ibrahim unity Federal Government.

In fact, the PN Negri Sembilan Chairman had declared that the Negri Sembilan PN is aiming to win at least 19 out of the 36 state seats to enable the coalition to form a state government.

Pakatan Harapan (PH) cannot take lightly the PN threat, whether in Negeri Sembilan or the other five states, and I welcome the announcement by the Pakatan Harapan secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail that PH will conduct roadshows beginning early next year in preparation for the elections in six states that did not dissolve their assemblies concurrently with the 15th general election (GE15).

Saifuddin, who is also the home affairs minister, said it is a “very important” task to convince voters in the six states to continue to support the Anwar Ibrahim unity government formed after the recent GE15.

Penang Chief Minister, Chow Kon Yeow, has predicted that PH could lose six or seven seats in the upcoming state polls based on the trend seen in last month’s general election.

Although this would not threaten Harapan’s control of the state, the coalition’s hold on Penang would not be as formidable as before.

Pakatan Harapan should draw up a programme to ensure that far from losing seats to PN, PH can do better in the six states than its performance in the 15th General Election.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Veteran