PBM will weaken BN’s position, say analysts

Two analysts have dismissed Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) as a party that will not add any value to Barisan Nasional if it joins the coalition.

(FMT) – Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara and Council of Professors fellow Jeniri Amir said Zuraida Kamaruddin’s new party would weaken BN’s position because of its small membership and questionable influence.

“BN would have to give up contesting for some seats in the next general election if it accepts PBM,” Azmi told FMT, adding that the Umno grassroots and aspiring candidates would not be happy about giving away seats.

“There is also no statistical proof that the PBM leaders will be able to retain the seats they currently occupy because they won them on different tickets before hopping over to PBM.”

Zuraida, who remains a Cabinet minister even after becoming PBM’s president-designate, recently said the party applied to join BN last month.

Bersatu is urging the prime minister to sack her and give her post to another party representative.

Jeniri said accepting PBM would backfire on BN, particularly in urban areas where, he alleged, Zuraida and other PBM leaders were seen as unprincipled.

“BN would have to be very desperate to accept or collaborate with PBM,” he said.

PBM’s president is Julau MP Larry Sng while Tebrau MP Steven Choong is a vice-president. They and Zuraida were once members of PKR.

Last Tuesday, Umno Supreme Council member Isham Jalil said cooperation with parties like PBM and DAP was out of the question because they were made up of “liars and traitors”.

He said accepting them would not reflect well on BN or Umno and would thrust Malay voters into the arms of other parties like Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s latest coalition, Gerakan Tanah Air.

“Zuraida is welcome to support BN, but we will not be giving our seats away,” Isham said in a Facebook post.