PETALING JAYA, Mar 1: Political analysts say Amanah must revamp and renew the party’s leadership for failing to take the party to greater heights since the 2018 general election.
Former academic Azmi Hassan said that Amanah’s future would remain with Pakatan Harapan but the party would garner far fewer seats than before.
He said Amanah has been having difficulty in attracting new members since 2018. “It’s not that they lack candidates per se but their fewer numbers lead to fewer potential GE15 candidates.”
On Friday, three assemblymen in Johor quit the party to join PKR, with one of them saying he was switching sides to better his chances at contesting a parliamentary seat at the next general election.
Azmi said the defections could be attributed to the party’s failure to attract new members and a leadership failure to demonstrate Amanah’s role in Malaysia’s political landscape.
For this reason, he said that Amanah’s leadership needs to rethink, which starts with recognizing that their diminishing influence means they carry the least weight within PH.
As to whether this means Amanah should dissolve the party and merge with their allies in PH, he said Amanah’s unique but precarious position in the alliance requires a different solution entirely.
“They cannot join either PKR or DAP because they all hold drastically different ideologies,” he said.”The most likely outcome, albeit incredibly impossible, is for them to rejoin PAS.”
The best way forward would be for Amanah to remain in PH while bringing new blood into the party’s leadership, particularly calling for its president Mohamad Sabu to make way.
“But who should take over is another thing. Since Salahuddin Ayub is Mohamad’s deputy, the perception is that he’s complicit with Mohamad. The problem is that Amanah doesn’t have another prominent leader capable of replacing Mohamad.
“For the time being, I think Salahuddin is the next best thing,” he said, adding that Mohamad has failed to lead the party well.
Another analyst, Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya, said Amanah has been losing traction, to the point that their own MPs have lost confidence in winning the coming election.
“This means the party may still need to cooperate with Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” he said. “Even if the party’s more moderate leaders and its members are reluctant to do so.”
He also said the issue isn’t that its members lack opportunity, but that the party itself lacks grassroots support in suburban and rural areas.
“All this time, Amanah has been leaning hard on its allies in PH, but have failed to win seats even in Terengganu and Kelantan, where their support should be the strongest.”
He warned that Amanah leaders would soon lose its members to PN and PKR if they don’t restore confidence among its ranks.