PETALING JAYA – Analysts are trying to read into Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s mind, after the PPBM chairman said there is a “plan B” in the event the authorities cancel his party’s registration ahead of the coming polls.
“Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a shrewd politician,” said Penang Institute’s Wong Chin Huat, when asked what the alternative plan could be.
Wong said one plan could be to have PPBM candidates contest under PKR.
That move could close the final chapter of the former prime minister’s feud with his one-time deputy, Anwar Ibrahim, who is almost the raison d’etre for PKR.
“If Umno thinks that he will be too proud to have his party use PKR’s symbol, Mahathir may just give them a bigger surprise,” Wong said.
Mahathir and Anwar reconciled in 2016, some 18 years after the two fell out in 1998 and sparked a bitter political battle that divided Malaysians throughout four general elections.
PPBM is currently being probed by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) following complaints from members.
The party has been given until March 29 to furnish answers and documents or risk being de-registered.
But yesterday, Mahathir said PPBM has other plans if it is deregistered.
The prospect of PPBM candidates standing under the PKR banner is not strange, according to Ibrahim Suffian, who heads pollster Merdeka Centre.
He said both parties have similarities.
“Even though PKR is a multi-ethnic party, the public sees it as being Malay-led,” he said.
Ibrahim recalled that DAP had also mulled using the PKR banner when it was facing problems with RoS, just weeks before the 2013 general election.