Analysts see great harm on DAP, Amanah if Umno MPs back Anwar

Amanah and DAP will suffer grievously if PKR president Anwar Ibrahim forms a government with the backing of Umno MPs, according to analysts.

(FMT) – Speaking to FMT, Mohd Izani Mohd Zain of Universiti Putra Malaysia and Kamarul Zaman Yusoff of Universiti Utara Malaysia said the two parties risked alienating their supporters by working with Umno, a party they have demonised.

“Umno and DAP are like water and oil; they simply cannot mix,” Kamarul said, adding it would make no difference if the Umno MPs supporting Anwar did not include those facing trial.

Anwar announced last week that he had the numbers to form a new government, but he has yet to reveal the names of MPs who have pledged to support him.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi seemed to confirm Anwar’s claim when he said many MPs from his party were backing the PKR chief’s bid to become prime minister.

DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang has said Anwar had assured him that no deals would be made with controversial figures in Umno.

This might not make a difference, according to Kamarul, who said any form of working relationship with Umno could see DAP and Amanah losing non-Malay votes in the next general election.

He added that PKR might benefit from Malay votes if Anwar’s plan materialised, but it would lose the support of those who used to believe in the party’s plan to rid the country of kleptocrats.

Izani said all three Pakatan Harapan parties would come under fire if they worked with Umno personalities although the reality was that PKR needed the support of Malays to succeed.

James Chin.

“They will face issues of support in the 15th general election,” he said. “Amanah will end up the weakest party. The party will become irrelevant if Anwar can get the support of the Malays through Umno.”

But James Chin of the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute has a different view, saying Pakatan Harapan would still get the support of non-Malays since the only alternative would be the Malay-centric Perikatan Nasional.

“Of course, PKR would gain the most as Anwar would be prime minister,” he said.

Chin said DAP would likely get fewer, if any, key ministerial posts because Anwar has indicated that the new government will be a Malay-majority government.

“But I think DAP will go along with Anwar’s plan because the party would want to be in government again and try to bring some change,” he said.

He added that Amanah would benefit from access to government resources and would likely still get votes from so-called progressives.