Anwar's chance as PM for second term is 50-50, says pol analyst

Whether his coalition could win the next General Election remains the big question.

26 Mar 2024 07:30am
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Bernama FILE PIX
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Bernama FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail rooting for his political master to be the Prime Minister for the second term is not surprising, but whether his coalition could win the next General Election remains the big question.

In fact, political observers opined that the chances for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to retain his position for the second term are 50-50.

Speaking to Sinar Daily, Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Dr Oh Ei Sun said it was not surprising that politicians would like to retain their governmental positions for as long as possible.

“Saifuddin saying it out on behalf of his political master is not surprising.

“If his coalition wins the next general election, he would likely continue (as a minister), as there was no other viable candidate in the ruling coalition.

“But whether his coalition could win the next GE is a big question mark,” he said.

Oh pointed out that Anwar did not seem to be able to fit the needs of voters who preferred a conservative government.

“It would appear that many voters prefer a government that is much more conservative and regressive than this (the current) one, and Anwar does not seem to be able to sway that preference,” he said.

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Meanwhile, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) political analyst Associate Prof Dr Syaza Shukri said that Anwar and Pakatan Harapan are still struggling to woo the Malays.

She said this would definitely hinder Anwar’s chance to retain his position in the upcoming general election.

“I think Anwar’s chances for a second term is 50-50. It has more to do with how Umno sees the relationship going forward.

“Anwar and Pakatan Harapan are, of course, still struggling trying to win over the Malays,” she said.

However, Syaza said Anwar could still succeed if his government could turn things around economically.

“In this way (improving economy), PH can win over (the support of) those in the middle (M40s) and this might be enough to keep them (the government( ahead,” she said.

On the other hand, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) political analyst Dr Abdul Aziz Azizam said that it was too early to make any projections on the next prime minister.

“As we know, the current government is grappling with various issues and challenges, especially concerning the livelihood of the people.

“Every action taken will determine the level of satisfaction the people have towards the current government.

“If the people feel comfortable and confident about the capabilities demonstrated by the prime minister, then there may be a chance for them to stay for the next term,” he said.

However, Aziz said people may choose an alternative party if they are not comfortable and dissatisfied with the performance shown by the current government.

“In any case, in this democracy, the people are the ones who will decide who governs, but the choice of the people depends on their level of satisfaction and confidence in a particular party,” he reasoned.

On Sunday’s Keluar Sekejap podcast hosted by former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, Saifuddin – who is also the Home Minister – said he wanted Anwar to serve a second term as Prime Minister.

Critics had repeatedly lamented that despite being headed by a reformist, the implementation of reforms had been slow.

There had also been criticisms of alleged regressive moves by the government, such as in the citizenship amendments issue.

Aside from that, the government had also been under fire for cutting back subsidies, implementing a service tax hike and the issue of increasing cost of living.