Analyst moots three-in-one attack to take on Umno-BN

An analyst has suggested that PAS, Bersatu and Pejuang combine forces to face Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno in the 15th general election (GE15), giving rise to a face-off between the country’s biggest Malay parties from both sides of the political divide. 

(MalaysiaNow) – Ahmad Atory Hussain, a veteran observer of Malay politics, said it would be impossible to defeat BN if PAS and Bersatu, fellow components of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) pact, are not in sync with Gerakan Tanah Air, led by Pejuang chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“These three parties, along with Pakatan Harapan (PH), see BN as a common threat and enemy,” he said.

“So, for the time being, they might as well put aside their political differences for the sake of national interests.”

Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin previously said that his party was ready to consider cooperating with Pejuang in GE15 if Mahathir was serious about such a scenario.

However, he added that Pejuang had yet to initiate contact to discuss this possibility.

Muhyiddin and Mahathir, both one-time Umno members, joined hands to form Bersatu at the height of the 1MDB scandal in 2016.

Bersatu became a PH component later that year, with Mahathir chosen as the coalition’s prime minister candidate for the 14th general election in 2018.

While Mahathir became prime minister for the second time following PH’s historic victory at the polls, he resigned in February 2020, triggering the collapse of the PH government.

Bersatu subsequently exited PH, with Mahathir and Muhyiddin also parting ways.

Mahathir, who was removed as Bersatu chairman, went on to form Pejuang while Muhyiddin was appointed as prime minister, a position he held until his own resignation in 2021.

Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, said Mahathir was unlikely to work with Muhyiddin again.

In any case, he said, Umno was expected to bag the lion’s share of votes from the Malay community.

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, he said most conservative Malays would fall back to Umno if they felt that their special position or privileges were under threat.

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