Mahathir, Pas likely to join forces in state elections under Malay Unity banner, say analysts

02 May 2023 09:32am
Perikatan Nasiona. BERNAMA pic
Perikatan Nasiona. BERNAMA pic

SHAH ALAM - The Perikatan Nasional (PN) aims to defeat the Unity Government in the upcoming state election under Malay unity banner with former Umno leaders, say analysts.

This comes after reports that Tan Sri Annuar Musa, the former Secretary-General of Umno, met with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to discuss Malay-Bumiputera unity just before joining Pas.

Annuar had said he and Mahathir had agreed to promote and boost the concept of Malay unity to ensure the people remain at the heart of the country's administration and political landscape.

However, Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Dr Oh Ei Sun said that these two political figures have yet to clarify their intentions of Malay unity.

"Does it, for example, mean that Muafakat Nasional (MN) and Mahathir will join hands with the predominantly Malay?

"If so, the already quite invincible appeal of PN will be enhanced even further to the extent that it is likely to sweep most of the states in the upcoming elections," he told Sinar Daily.

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He said MPs who had previously backed Anwar are now throwing their support behind PN, as they have recognised that public sentiment is currently in favour of PN.

Dr Syaza Shukri, a political analyst from IIUM, sees both advantages and disadvantages to PN's promotion of the Malay unity concept.

IIUM political analyst Dr Syaza Shukri viewed both the benefits and shortcomings to PN's version of Malay unity.

"It will work for state elections at up north but I don’t think it will make much inroads in urban areas. I believe Mahathir is definitely willing to work with Pas.

Syaza further added that the former Langkawi MP has made it obvious that Pas; in his opinion, differs in some way from the previous Pas.

"They want to defeat the unity government, starting with the state elections. They want to see where the wind blows. They will then plan out the rest.

"These MPs who are turning to PN were let go from their own party. It will definitely be a problem because they might pull people from Umno.

"But their success will depend on where they stand in the election," Syaza added.