PETALING JAYA, July 24 : Two political analysts agree that a convincing election victory will be assured for Umno, PPBM and PAS if they work as a team.
However, both told FMT the current state of affairs did not inspire confidence that such a united front could be forged any time soon.
Kamarul Zaman Yusoff of Universiti Utara Malaysia and Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya noted that there was currently much bickering between PPBM on one side and Umno and PAS on the other.
“The problem is that some segments of Umno and PAS see PPBM as trying to dominate and become the big brother,” said Kamarul.
“And the reality is that any one or two of the parties cannot win in a convincing fashion on their own.”
He said the solution to the problem would lie in PPBM’s readiness to tone down its rhetoric and agreeing to join Muafakat Nasional, the Umno-PAS pact.
This would be more workable than trying to get Umno and PAS to join Perikatan Nasional (PN), he added.
“PPBM has to accept the fact that it cannot dominate the politics even with Muhyiddin Yassin leading the country.”
Kamarul said Muhyiddin would likely be the leader of a coalition made up of the three parties.
He said the prospect of an election victory for such a front was excellent because the opposition was now fractured, with former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and their supporters at odds with each other.
“The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s investigations involving several Pakatan Harapan leaders will also affect the opposition coalition and I foresee that more of its MPs will join PN,” he added.
Awang Azman said he believed Umno leaders such as its president, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and former prime minister Najib Razak were more inclined to Muafakat Nasional.
“But of course, if PN contests GE15 as a team, the Malay vote will not split and it will win more than enough to form the government, though a two-third majority is difficult.”
However, he said it would be difficult for the Umno and PAS grassroots to accept PPBM because of the enmity that developed in the run-up to the last general election.
“Unless PPBM returns to Umno like Semangat 46 did before, the fighting will not stop,” he said, adding that Umno had shown it was willing to compromise only with small parties when it had its back against the wall.
“It is certain that Umno grassroots leaders will be pressuring the top leadership for more seats when the election comes around,” he said.