Malaysia’s political clamour as presented by the mass media tends to drown out the steady progress of what the Pakatan Rakyat (Pakatan) state governments are actually doing on a daily basis. Their learning curve on gaining power at state level was no doubt challengingly steep, but where policies are concerned, their achievements have been impressive.
Political events tend to overwhelm public space and are always more exciting than state administrative and policy matters, although it is the latter that actively and ultimately determine the welfare and livelihood of people.
The measure by which people generally judge the strength of political coalitions is therefore slightly inaccurate; in all likelihood using political cohesion versus division between individual political players as a gauge. This tendency is displayed in the evaluation of Pakatan as a political body. Th e recent Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) party elections and Democratic Action Party (DAP) Selangor state elections that both saw deep rift s emerge between key leaders, for example, remain in people’s minds as indicators that the Pakatan coalition is in complete disarray.
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