Malaysia Chronicle

Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin’s reaching out to Pejuang for support would have been a desperate gambit for Perikatan Nasional, according to analysts, if Pejuang founder Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s allegations were true.

A former Universiti Teknologi Malaysia lecturer, Azmi Hassan, said this is because it is difficult for Perikatan Nasional to be accepted by any opposition party after its previous betrayal.

“So, when Muhyiddin reached out to Pejuang, it showed PN is in a desperate situation since they have reached out knowing the offer will be rejected.

“It is a manifestation of a situation where people can’t think rationally when they are desperate,” Azmi told Malaysiakini when asked.

Universiti Malaya socio-political analyst Awang Azman Awang Pawi (photo, above)said Bersatu should use the time it still has to strengthen its cooperation with PAS instead, to prepare for the 15th general election.

“It is better for Muhyiddin to use the remaining time to strengthen relations with PAS and ensure PAS and Bersatu’s grassroots become stronger and prepare themselves for the general election.

‘Pro-Bersatu Umno leaders have become quieter’

“Moreover, the pro-Bersatu Umno leaders have become quieter after Mahathir revealed that Muhyiddin has met him – and said he wants to become prime minister again and wants Mahathir’s cooperation. Warisan and PKR were also approached by Muhyiddin,” the associate professor said.

On April 1, Mahathir claimed Muhyiddin had asked him to support his bid to become prime minister again and went on to add that he doesn’t know why Muhyiddin wanted his support.

However, Bersatu Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayshal Wan Ahmad Kamal disputed this and claimed it was Mahathir who initiated communications.

Muhyiddin later said it was leaders of other parties, including Pejuang, that reached out to him for a possible pact for the 15th general election, which prompted him to meet opposition party leaders.

Meanwhile, Azmi is puzzled over why Muhyiddin would seek Pejuang’s support after the party’s poor showing in the recent Johor state election.

‘Pejuang has nothing to offer…’

“I wonder why he reached out to Pejuang. Firstly, Pejuang has nothing to offer, based on the Johor state election results.

“But the reality is that Pejuang was founded because of Muhyiddin’s ploys. So, I’m not sure who advised Muhyiddin to reach out to Pejuang, since Pejuang would certainly reject Muhyiddin,” Azmi added.

Universiti Malaya’s Awang Azman views Muhyiddin’s attempts to form alliances with Harapan, Warisan or Pejuang as futile since the parties don’t agree on many key issues, including the question of who should be the next prime minister.

This could be seen when Pejuang touted Warisan president Shafie Apdal as a candidate for the top post, while Harapan coalition member PKR wants its president Anwar Ibrahim as the next prime minister.

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim

“PKR’s grassroots would certainly reject any cooperation with Pejuang, which has ruled out Anwar as a candidate for the premiership.

“Bersatu, meanwhile, is seen as a traitor by Harapan by exiting Harapan and causing the Harapan-led government to collapse. It would be difficult for Harapan to cooperate with Bersatu when Bersatu could backstab them again at any time,” Awang Azman said.

While acknowledging that Muhyiddin has made his own contribution to the nation by helming the country in the opening months of the Covid-19 pandemic, he said Malaysians want the country to move on with a line-up of new leaders.

“(They don’t want) a recycled prime minister who was heavily criticised by the people during the pandemic to the point where he couldn’t stand it anymore and was toppled by the allies,” Awang Azman added.  MKINI



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