PETALING JAYA: A political analyst says dominant parties are needed in coalitions to ensure stability and strength in leadership, and dismissed a PPBM leader’s recent comments that there should be no dominant entity in a coalition of Malay parties.
Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya said dominant parties could ensure that development agendas and policies would be unaffected, while a lack of dominance would see partners busy quarrelling over positions.
“Having a dominant party is actually beneficial and can ensure stability, guarantees strong leadership and prevents power grapples.
“On the other hand, non-dominant parties will be thinking of ways to increase its number of seats and try to win over party-hoppers, while depending on its power in the government to stay relevant,” he told FMT.
Pahang PPBM secretary Saifuddin Abdullah recently said there should be no issue of a dominant party if PPBM, PAS and Umno formed a coalition to face the 15th general election, calling for all to cooperate and prioritise the people.
He said this coalition should not be influenced by “old political frameworks”, adding that the issue of who is dominating should not arise in a coalition of Malay parties.
Awang Azman said the narrative that there should be no dominant force in a coalition of Malay parties was the political rhetoric of small entities that wanted to justify their position while also trying to keep a hold on their power.
He added that even big parties had their own factions, with some being more dominant than others.
“It seems like he’s just trying to reduce or downplay the influence of Umno in the government,” he said, referring to Saifuddin’s comments.
Another analyst, Azmi Hassan, formerly of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, said weaker partners would usually be “bullied” by more domineering counterparts.
“Being dominant in a coalition sometimes is a good thing, if the dominant party is fair, which will lead to stability since the dominant party is in control with minimum threat.
“Like it or not, I postulate that Umno being the dominant party in Barisan Nasional (BN) for the last six decades led to political stability. But alas, sometimes the bullying factor does play its part,” he said.
Nonetheless, he said PPBM was the one that should address the issue of dominance first, saying the party led by Muhyiddin Yassin seemed to be the bully in the current government setup.
“Going back to the dominant stuff that Saifuddin raised, it should start with his party PPBM, since in the view of Umno grassroots, PPBM is bullying Umno in the current political scenario.
“As I see it now, PPBM is being too dominant in the coalition with the prime minister and other critical ministerial posts belonging to its MPs.”