More MPs will support Anwar if PN unwilling to negotiate for funds, says analyst

Perikatan Nasional’s failure to negotiate for equal allocations will lead to more of its MPs, especially from Bersatu, supporting Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, says a political observer.

(FMT) – On Tuesday, Bukit Gantang MP Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal declared his support for Anwar and the unity government after stating he was disappointed that PN did not negotiate constituency development funds, becoming the fifth Bersatu MP to back Anwar.

Council of Professors fellow Jeniri Amir said rather than pushing a narrative of trying to overthrow the government before the 16th general election, PN leaders need to deal with the crisis stemming from the loss of trust from their own MPs.

“One of the best ways (to stop the shifting of support) is to open the door for negotiations and be ready to compromise,” he said.

“That would be the best method (to negotiate). I don’t understand why PN insists on not negotiating with the government.

“If this is not quickly addressed, it won’t be a surprise if more (MPs) shift support (to Anwar).”

On Nov 3, PN chief whip Takiyuddin Hassan said the coalition did not continue negotiations with deputy prime minister Fadillah Yusof as the government had requested that PN write in for the allocations, as well as make certain assurances.

However, the Kota Bharu MP did not clarify the assurances or promises requested by the government.

Another analyst, Azmi Hassan, said the shift in the MPs’ support is related to the current leadership crisis in Bersatu, and not out of sympathy for their voters.

Last Saturday, PN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin said he would defend his post as Bersatu president in next year’s party elections, a day after he announced at the Bersatu annual general assembly that he wanted to bow out.

The three-day long assembly ended without a clear succession plan for the party’s top post, and a well-placed source told FMT that Muhyiddin’s U-turn may cause a rift within its Supreme Council.

“The problem is Bersatu’s leadership has lost its direction,” said Azmi.

“The allocation factor is just a cover-up so that MPs are not labelled as traitors to the party.

“It won’t stop with Bukit Gantang; there might be one or two more (supporting Anwar), especially with Muhyiddin expressing willingness to defend the presidency.”