Hamzah could lead Bersatu after Muhyiddin, say experts

27 Sep 2023 08:00am

SHAH ALAM - Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin has the opportunity to win considering his strong support and commitment to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), say political experts.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Ethnic Studies Deputy Director Institute Professor Dr Kartini Aboo Talib said Hamzah has a great opportunity to win if the party's president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, does not contest in the upcoming party election.

"Hamzah Zainuddin has the opportunity to win considering his strong support and commitment to Bersatu.

"He is the Larut member of parliament and has been vocally brilliant as the leader of the opposition, plus his experience as former Domestic Trade Minister attests to his ability to lead the nation," she said.

This came after a rumour that has been spreading saying that there will be changes in Bersatu leadership if Muhyiddin, as president, decides not to contest the upcoming party election.

When asked who could be the one to replace Muhyiddin, Kartini said it is rational to say that every leader is replaceable in the name of sustainability.

"Bersatu has a few potential experienced leaders like Azmin Ali, Faizal Azumu, Hamzah Zainudin, Wan Ahmad Faysal, and Hilman Idham; if Abah decides to become an advisor, it shows a big heart to allow new leaders to lead the party," she said.

Commenting on the 'Abah' factor, Kartini said Muhyiddin has a very significant image as a responsible leader who walks the talk in delivering his manifesto to help the nation.

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"Of course, this "Abah" image is also a real-deal symbol of his fatherly concern about the well-being of the people (individual, family, and community).

"His willingness to approve EPF to help the people during the pandemic was dear to our hearts; his relief economic packages help; and his herd-community goal to ensure everyone received vaccines freely during the pandemic with systematic and organised methods is praised by the World Health Organisation (WHO)," she said.

Meanwhile, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Political Science Association Professor Dr Syaza Shukri said it was clear that Hamzah would take over after Muhyddin.

However, Syaza said there are possibilities for Azmin Ali to challenge Hamzah.

"But given his strong personality, there’s a possibility for Azmin Ali to challenge him, though that would be difficult given he’s not in Parliament," she said.

Commenting on the 'Abah' factor, Syaza said it is how he presented himself as the father of the people.

"The Abah factor is basically how Muhyiddin presented himself as the father of the people, a caring leader.

"This is how he garnered people’s support, especially during the pandemic.

"But it is not enough, as he needs political support as well," she said.