What’s next for BN chief, as ‘anti-Zahid’ cluster emerges?

(FMT) – What will Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s next move be if there is truth to allegations that a majority of his bloc’s MPs have signed statutory declarations (SD) opposing his leadership?

That’s the question raised by veteran newsman A Kadir Jasin, after Padang Rengas MP Nazri Aziz revealed that 25 of the 41 BN parliamentarians had backed BN treasurer-general Hishammuddin Hussein to represent the coalition before the King after they got word that political leaders would be summoned to the palace.

Nazri said he was the “mastermind” who collected the declarations two weeks ago in anticipation of the meeting with the King. He claimed that the signatories had lost confidence in Zahid’s transparency in representing the party.

In a statement, Kadir said the latest revelation, if true, showed a growing disquiet within Umno, of which Zahid is party president.

“The division among its MPs is getting worse and more layered. If there used to be a ‘Cabinet cluster’, a ‘court cluster’ and an ‘independent cluster’, now there is a cluster that has lost confidence in their president.”

He said losing the confidence of so many MPs would make it increasingly difficult for Zahid to “save himself” and preserve his “usefulness” in the political landscape.

“Where does he want to go if most in Umno reject him? He is no longer useful to Anwar (Ibrahim), who wants to be the prime minister, or to Muhyiddin (Yassin) who wants to remain as prime minister.”

Nazri had also said that selecting Hishammuddin as BN’s representative was merely to express the party’s stance against working with Anwar, and did not imply that the foreign affairs minister was their pick as BN’s prime ministerial candidate.

Kadir surmised that this would suggest their goal was simple: to remove Zahid.

“If the purpose of the 25 MPs is not to appoint Anwar as prime minister, to topple Muhyiddin or put forward an alternative candidate, then their movement is aimed solely at Zahid.”