Bersatu still needs Muhyiddin

21 Nov 2023 10:30am
Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin - BERNAMA FILE PIX
Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin - BERNAMA FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's statement saying that he desires a smooth transition of the leadership of the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) presidency without any issues, is crucial to avoid internal party divisions.

Ilham Centre executive director Hisommudin Bakar said there was a possibility of a clash between groups led by former Gombak MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (Team A) and the party's secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin (Team B), in the upcoming Bersatu elections next year.

This possibility arose if Muhyiddin did not retain his current position.

However, Hisommudin added that Azmin can only contest the position of president if the party chose to amend its constitution because based on the current situation, the Hulu Kelang assemblyman did not meet the stipulated requirements.

Hisommuddin said the Bersatu Constitution has established that any leader wishing to contest the top five positions must be a party member and a member of the Supreme Leadership Council for at least two terms.

"If there is a proposal to amend the Bersatu Constitution, it means that there is indeed an effort by certain parties to pave the way for Azmin to contest the presidency if Muhyiddin truly wants to withdraw from the political arena of the country.

“On the other hand, if Muhyiddin wants to remain as president, then Hamzah would not dare 'go against' the Pagoh MP to become the number one leader of Bersatu because the opposition leader in Parliament has his principles," he told Sinar Premium, yesterday.

Hisommudin added that if there was competition for the position of president between Team A and Team B, internal unity within Bersatu can be fractured.

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However, the actual reality, according to Hisommuddin, is that Bersatu still needed the leadership, experience and influence of Muhyiddin to continue its political survival and lead the party through challenging times until the 16th General Election (GE16).

Anyway, Hisommudin said he did not rule out the possibility of Muhyiddin expressing his intention to step down from the Bersatu presidency to focus on the court cases he was currently facing.

"I also do not rule out the possibility that more Bersatu representatives will follow in the footsteps of four of its parliamentarians, namely Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan); Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar); Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang); and Zahari Kechik (Jeli), who have expressed support for the unity government to obtain financial allocations," he said.

O2 Research chief researcher Anis Anwar Suhaimi also said all Bersatu leaders need to avoid internal divisions even if they may clash in the party elections next year.

Anis said that Bersatu needed a new leadership lineup to make room for a new strategy for Perikatan Nasional (PN).

"Bersatu leaders should also emulate the magnanimous attitude shown by Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Sanusi Md Noor, who was willing to withdraw from competing for the top five positions to avoid internal divisions in Pas.

"There is a high possibility that Muhyiddin will give his approval to Hamzah to take over his duties as president of Bersatu to avoid internal divisions in the party," he said.

Anis also did not rule out the possibility of Bersatu amending its constitution to allow Azmin to be appointed as deputy president, as previously done by the PKR.