Muhyiddin’s arrest seen as hard-to-wash stain on Bersatu
“Bersatu has been telling the Malay community that it is clean compared to Umno, which it says is corrupt. It cannot now use that card to entice voters in the state elections”
(FMT) – The arrest of Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin on suspicion of corruption has prompted analysts to make a dire prediction regarding voter support for his party and for Perikatan Nasional, the coalition he chairs.
James Chin of the University of Tasmania, Council of Professors fellow Jeniri Amir and Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya told FMT they believed it would now be hard for voters to accept Bersatu’s claim of being a party clean of corruption.
They expect PN to suffer at the upcoming state elections.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) arrested Muhyiddin yesterday and he is expected to be charged in court this morning.
Two other Bersatu leaders, Wan Saiful Wan Jan and Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad, have already been charged with corruption. The analysts said Muhyiddin’s arrest had left a stain too tough to clean.
He said other leaders in PN, especially those involved in procuring contracts during the Covid-19 pandemic, would be increasingly worried that MACC might haul them up also.
Muhyiddin is expected to face several charges under the MACC Act and the Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act in connection with the Jana Wibawa programme. Wan Saiful and Adam Radlan were charged last month with soliciting and accepting bribes over projects involving Jana Wibawa.
Jeniri said the charges and the freezing of bank accounts would make it difficult for Bersatu to campaign for the state elections.
Awang Azman said he would not be surprised if Bersatu were to suffer like Umno did from accusations of corruption.
“These accusations eventually resulted in Barisan Nasional’s defeat,” he said.
During the campaign for the last general election, Muhyiddin said PN was ready to offer Malaysians a “clean and stable” government. The coalition won 73 seats in Parliament.