KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will further consolidate his power in Umno with the return of former Selangor mentri besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, analyst firm BMI Research said today.
In a report, the Fitch Group unit said the return of the politician known as Mat Tyson — earlier this month in an anticipated press conference — would also open doors for others who have left the ruling party to return.
“We expect the return of [Muhammad] to Umno to provide further tailwinds to Najib’s ongoing efforts to further consolidate his grip on power, as Taib’s return can be viewed as a ‘win’ for the ruling party,” the firm said.
Muhammad was Selangor mentri besar from 1986 until 1997, when he was forced to resign after he was detained in Australia while carrying millions in cash.
The former Umno vice-president later joined PAS in 2013, before leaving the Islamist party for PKR in 2015.
“Despite having left Umno for a period of time, [Muhammad] remains influential and could be positive for BN’s bid to strengthen its position in the opposition-held Selangor in the upcoming elections,” it said, referring to Barisan Nasional.
BMI also said that Muhammad’s return suggests “a degree of discontent” with the ranks of the Opposition, further adding to BN’s benefit.
“We thus believe that political risks are likely to remain low and that the government will continue to seek to consolidate its position, boding well for the business environment,” it said.
– Malay Mail