Umno’s decision not to join Perikatan Nasional will not have any bearing on Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his team in Putrajaya for the time being, said an academician.
However, Associate Professor Dr Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk said Umno and PAS will now be the kingmakers with the number of representatives they have in Parliament.
Azeem added the latest political move announced by Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi earlier today showed Perikatan Nasional (PN) could not be formalised as a pact.
PN is an ad hoc political alliance formed between political parties following the fall of Pakatan Harapan.
“The Umno MPs are still supporting Muhyiddin … his position as prime minister remains unscalable, for now,” said Azeem.
Last month, two coalitions – Barisan Nasional (Umno, MCA, MIC and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, Sarawak United People’s Party, Parti Rakyat Sarawak and Progressive Democratic Party) – and four other parties –Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, PAS, Parti Bersatu Sabah and Parti Solidarity Tanah Airku – agreed to be part of PN.
However, Ahmad Zahid during a press conference this morning announced that Umno will strengthen Muafakat Nasional – a political pact formed between Umno and PAS. He also said Muhyiddin, who is Bersatu’s acting chairman, had expressed the party’s intention to join Muafakat Nasional.
It remains unclear if MCA, MIC and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah will follow Umno’s lead.
Dr Azeem, who is Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Centre for Policy Research and International Studies director, said the next step would be to formalise Muafakat Nasional and to incorporate Bersatu.
“PAS and Umno will definitely be the kingmakers due to their numbers. Umno has more seats in Parliament than Bersatu and PAS will throw its support to Umno.”
“It will be unwise right now for parties within the present administration to squabble on who should be prime minister because their majority in Parliament is wafer-thin.”
He said the prime minister’s position will be up for grabs at the next general election.
“This will depend on the consensus that will be achieved among the parties in Muafakat Nasional and of course the party with the most seats will have the most influence and say.”
On the dissolution of the Sabah government today, Dr Azeem said the outcome of the state election, which will be held in the next 60 days, is “anybody’s guess”.
“No one really knows the sentiments on the ground. No poll has been done and there is no empirical data on who is more popular – Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal or Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
“The situation in Sabah is very difficult to predict as it can go either way,” he said.
Here’s the round-up of The News Normal.
VILLAINOUS POWER GRAB, PH SAYS OF SABAH SAGA
While fully supporting Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, Pakatan Harapan (PH) said only the people will be able to defeat the “villainous power grab” by former Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.
In a statement signed by PKR’s Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah’s Mohamad Sabu and Lim Guan Eng of DAP, PH added the attempt to overthrow the government as the nation battles Covid-19 was irresponsible.
JB-SINGAPORE RTS PROJECT REVIVED
The Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) link project will go ahead but the project will now be a standalone Light Rail Transit system that will be completed by 2026.
A ceremony, marking the official resumption of the project, was witnessed by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsein Loong at the Causeway.
The project was suspended last year following Malaysia’s request to review the plan.
WILL MALAYSIA HOST F1 THIS YEAR?
It has been three years since the last Malaysian Formula One race as the cost of being part of the F1 circus didn’t make sense.
However, with the Covid-19 pandemic messing up this year’s F1 calendar, there is an opening for Malaysia to return for a one-off race at the end of the year – on the cheap. The other possible host is Vietnam.
eSPORTS BOOT CAMP IN MALAYSIA
Malaysian eSports agency Cyclestate has launched its grassroots development initiative with a pioneering concept of online gaming boot camps for children aged 10 to 17.
In an exclusive partnership with ibMedia, a unique curriculum was developed to deliver ESLGaming-certified training camps to children in the comfort of their homes.