Bersatu is desperate and needs to replace Muhyiddin, says analyst
An analyst has described Bersatu as being in a “very desperate” situation and in need of someone to take over its leadership from Muhyiddin Yassin.
(FMT) – Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said the outlook for Bersatu, and even Perikatan Nasional, looked gloomy, especially after the failure of attempts to forge some form of cooperation with Pejuang and Pakatan Harapan.
He said it puzzled him that Bersatu would even approach its former comrades considering the “bad blood” it had with the opposition parties following the Sheraton Move in 2020.
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“After being rejected by Pejuang and PH, Bersatu needs to think very hard about a new leader,” he told FMT.
“Muhyiddin, during his tenure as prime minister, spoiled his reputation. The problem for him started when he declared an emergency under the pretext of controlling the pandemic.”
Azmi said there were former Umno MPs in Bersatu who could take over from Muhyiddin, but the question was whether Bersatu members who were there from the start would accept it.
Last week, Pejuang chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad alleged that Muhyiddin had asked for his help so that he could be prime minister again. Mahathir said his party would not back someone who had been a failure in the top post.
Bersatu Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Ahmad Kamal later told FMT that other opposition parties had approached Muhyiddin to discuss working together for GE15, but he did not name the parties.
DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng and Warisan president Shafie Apdal have spoken out against forming any partnership with Muhyiddin’s party, and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu has denied ever approaching Muhyiddin.
Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs said the opposition’s disdain for Bersatu went beyond Muhyiddin, that they saw him as only “one among a cohort” considered to be at fault for PH’s fall from power.
He said Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin seemed most capable of taking over from Muhyiddin, but it was unclear if the home minister had the charisma to lead the party.
He also said both Hamzah and international trade and industry minister Azmin Ali had been “compromised” for being among the masterminds of the Sheraton Move.
Both Azmi and Oh expect Bersatu to lose a number of party members and leaders to other parties as the nation inches closer to GE15.
Oh added that all parties would experience such movements in the lead-up to the polls.