Dr Mahathir’s party will fail going it alone, say analysts

(FMT) – Analysts have criticised Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s decision to form a new Malay political party, with one analyst saying it would be just a waste of time and effort to start a party from the ground up.

Kamarul Zaman Yusoff of Universiti Utara Malaysia said Mahathir’s new party, which has yet to be named, would fail to be a kingmaker as Mahathir hopes, and instead could cause Mahathir to disappear from the scene as a whole.

He told FMT that it was unrealistic for a party to be truly independent without siding with a particular bloc, saying the political scene seemed to be heading towards a two-party system.

“Without partnering with Pakatan Harapan (PH) or Perikatan Nasional (PN), this new party is expected to not only fail in getting new seats, but also fail in keeping the six seats it holds.

“Setting up a new party requires a lot because it needs to find members while establishing the organisation at the branch, division, state and central levels, which isn’t something easy to do when starting from scratch.

“Mahathir will only waste time, energy and costs to establish this party when he could resolve all his problems easily by joining any of the political parties that have already been well-established in the country,” he said.

Kamarul also said the issue of corruption that Mahathir’s party will seek to champion was no longer as big as before, following the charging of a few political leaders in court.

Azmi Hassan of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia said it would be far-fetched for Mahathir and his gang to expect grassroots support to swing in their favour, describing the move of establishing a new party as a “tactical mistake”.

He said the results of the previous general election had already shown how poorly PPBM fared when pitted against Umno, adding that the latter had much stronger grassroots support.

He also did not foresee any PPBM or Umno MPs linking up with Mahathir in his new party, saying the former prime minister’s once-great influence was now waning.

“The Malays seem to put more trust in Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin than Tun, especially considering Muhyiddin’s handling of the pandemic. And it’s not far-fetched to say that the Malays evaluate Muhyiddin as being more sincere compared to Tun,” he said.

Azmi and Universiti Malaya’s Awang Azman Pawi agreed that Mahathir needed to be on good terms with PH to remain in the political arena, with the latter saying the new party would drown amidst the other Malay political parties if it stood alone.

However, Awang Azman said that Mahathir’s new party would find it difficult to last, unless the former prime minister can draw in the support of youths as well as rural and urban Malays.

He said that the party would have to work a lot harder as the grappling for seats will cause dissatisfaction for any party that decides to work with Mahathir.