Muhyiddin’s position as PM intact, Umno and PAS become kingmakers

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.

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