New party, old politics?
Mahathir will find it hard to justify forming a new party if it is going to be Umno 3.0.
Scott Ng, Free Malaysia Today
There was a lot of excitement among pro-opposition pundits when former PM Mahathir Mohamad announced last month that he was setting up a new party. Many saw it as a major step forward in the fight against the Najib regime.
However, the news that the party will be another Bumi-only party has taken the wind out of the sails somewhat. The worry is that it will merely be a ship for Umno’s castaways and defectors to jump on to whether or not they subscribe to reformist principles.
Mahathir faces the challenge of legitimising this party in the eyes of both the Malay voters disaffected by BN and the opposition supporters who look upon him with justifiable suspicion.
The challenge does not end there. The enthroning of Muhyiddin Yassin as the party’s president and its candidate for Prime Minister presents another problem. He has acquired the image of an unwilling contender and he hasn’t exactly been a unifying figure since his sacking from Umno.