No leader can replace Muhyiddin in Bersatu - Analyst

Bersatu's future uncertain without strong leadership post-Muhyiddin

15 May 2024 09:59am
According to political analyst, the absence of a strong successor in Bersatu post-Muhyiddin could lead to internal challenges. - File photo
According to political analyst, the absence of a strong successor in Bersatu post-Muhyiddin could lead to internal challenges. - File photo

SHAH ALAM - While there are one or two potential candidates, no leader can adequately replace Bersatu President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Universiti Teknologi Mara's Centre for Communication and Media Studies Professor Ismail Sualman said that if Muhyiddin steps down, Bersatu will face significant challenges in finding suitable leadership for its top management.

“It comes down to leadership style and how decisions are made, whether autocratically or collaboratively, depending on the situation.

"After Muhyiddin, few leaders in Bersatu seem credible enough to step into his shoes, which could potentially destabilise the party's leadership structure.

"The absence of a strong successor in Bersatu post-Muhyiddin could lead to internal challenges, exacerbated by the potential influence of political propaganda from PH, threatening the stability of PN,” he told Sinar Daily when contacted.

When questioned about the rumours alleging Selangor Opposition leader Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali's attempt to field 'his candidate', Khairul Azhari Saut, in Kuala Kubu Baharu (KKB) by-election recently, Ismail responded that as the party state leader and chairman, Azmin holds the authority to nominate candidates.

He noted that various factors may have influenced Perikatan Nasional's (PN) defeat in KKB, emphasising that the quality and appeal of the candidate remain paramount.

In his view, in KKB, voters may prioritide political party affiliation over individual candidates, suggesting this principle applies equally at both the state and Federal levels.

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Ismail highlighted other issues, such as the candidate's lack of proficiency in public speaking or effective communication skills, as significant problems.

He also pointed to the timing of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's announcement regarding the salary increment for civil servants during the election campaign.

"Although the actual increment would be implemented the following year, the timing of this announcement could have impacted the election outcome, potentially contributing to their victory in KKB.

"I believe PN needs to thoroughly examine their challenges and conduct a post-mortem on their defeat.

"If they can strategically strengthen the collaboration between Pas and Bersatu, there may be another chance for success,” he said.

Ismail suggested that PN should engage in introspection and conduct a comprehensive analysis of their loss.

By enhancing cooperation between Pas and Bersatu, they could seize another opportunity for success.

Ismail noted that if this scenario occurred in Kelantan or Terengganu, it might succeed due to stronger support for Pas in those regions.

However, KKB, with its majority Chinese population and previous DAP representation, presents a different dynamic.

Ismail believes that Pas and Bersatu could potentially secure victory in the next general election by reflecting on their past losses, strengthening their strategies, and developing strong synergy.

PN's KKB loss due to boycott?

Ismail added that the by-election loss was not due to a boycott, but rather because the cooperation may not have been effectively translated into practice.

"This implies that candidates, from top to grassroots levels, including within divisions or branches, may not have fully supported the chosen candidate.

“Perhaps they have their own candidate or Pas is attempting to promote theirs, but they may not be garnering the necessary support.

"While they are collaborating, I've observed some deficiencies in perception and narrative management.

"Maybe Pas and Bersatu struggled to effectively counter PH with substantive responses addressing local issues and sentiments.

"Despite presenting their manifesto, I've observed it lacks practicality, focusing mainly on tourism, overlooking other critical aspects,” he added.