If we think this week of uncertainty over the choice of PM and government is too much, spare a thought for Belgium, which last year had to go through 500 days of horse trading before settling on a seven-party coalition government.
In a sense, Belgium, like Malaysia, is also caught up with identity politics and regional economic disparities.
Much attention here is now focused on Sabah and Sarawak, especially GPS.
Anwar Ibrahim is the front-runner and popular choice in most rudimentary polls. The other prospect is Ismail Sabri. Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Shafie Apdal are the dark horses.
Much will also depend on the Pejuang, Warisan MPs and Zahid’s Umno 15. If most of them throw their backing behind Anwar then he could be the next PM. If not… then it will be Sabri.
The problem is few want the ‘court cluster’ in government. So we will have to watch out for that one.
It is also not clear what any new government would do with a string of ecologically damaging mega-projects in the country: think of the three-island project in Penang and other mega-reclamation plans, controversial mega-dams, an unpopular highway in the Klang Valley ….
We cannot count on the politicians to proceed on a more sustainable path and undertake many of the institutional and other reforms we need. That is why we must remain ever-vigilant.
Will they even undo the damage done by privatisation and neoliberalism, including the critical underfunding of public healthcare for decades?
Which of the coalitions can best manage the pandemic while caring for the vulnerable and without trampling on the people’s basic rights (the right to earn a living, the right to peacefully protest, the right not to be discriminated against, etc)?
The Perikatan Nasional reign was disastrous in more ways than one. We wait and see what the next few days has in store.