The meeting of the PAS national leadership on August 17 will have a critical bearing on the future of the six-year-old three-party coalition Pakatan Rakyat.
However, the August 17 meeting of PAS may be upstaged by what happens in the next 24 hours in the Selangor Mentri Besar crisis which may set the seal for the irretrievable break-up of Pakatan Rakyat.
The break-up of Pakatan Rakyat will cause consternation and even despair among Malaysians over the betrayal of their high hopes that change has finally come to Malaysia after more than half a century of political stagnation and even regresson but welcomed as a boon and relief by Umno/BN leaders and apparatchiks as a “salvation” to spare them from political rejection and repudiation in the country.
This is the reason why the Deputy Prime Minister and UMNO Deputy President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, had been so fast in declaring unconditional support of 12 UMNO/Barisan Nasional State Assembly representatives in Selangor to Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as Mentri Besar of Selangor although he has lost the mandate of Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Pakatan Rakyat to continue as Selangor Mentri Besar.
UMNO/Barisan Nasional strategists are working overtime to exploit the Selangor Mentri Besar crisis, working on the scenario of 12 UMNO + 15 PAS + Khalid and a high-powered campaign to undermine the loyalty of DAP and PKR State Assembly reps to betray the Selangor voters and their respective parties.
This campaign gains strength with the open support in some quarters for a UMNO-PAS “Unity Government” although couched under another terminology like “national consensus”.
Pakatan Rakyat leaders must act promptly and decisively and not be blind-sided by the pace of developments in the Selangor Mentri Besar crisis when time is of the essence, allowing what could happen in the next 24 hours to upstage not only the PAS leadership meeting of August 17 but determine the survival of Pakatan Rakyat.