THE opposition will lose its core supporters if Anwar Ibrahim decides to back the Muhyiddin Yassin government, said analysts.
Commenting on allegations that Anwar is preparing to dump his Pakatan Harapan allies in the quest to become prime minister by striking a deal with Muhyiddin, analysts said it is illogical for PKR to merge or support the prime minister now.
Universiti Malaya’s professor Awang Azman Awang Pawi told The Malaysian Insight PH and PKR will lose many core supporters if they back Muhyiddin after events in February.
Awang Azman said although Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional has done a good job of containing the Covid-19 pandemic, opposition voters still blame the prime minister and former PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali for the collapse of the PH government in February.
“Will Muhyiddin step aside for Anwar? Or will he replace Azmin with Anwar and other PKR members?
“Muhyiddin will want to hang on to the prime minister’s post while strengthening his hand,” said Awang Azman.
Anwar on Tuesday denied allegations he was plotting with Muhyiddin and Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainuddin to throw his party’s support behind the current prime minister.
While Anwar did not specifically address the allegations, there are claims he will support the prime minister if there is a no-confidence vote in Parliament on July 13.
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia political science lecturer Mazlan Ali also believes that the Muhyiddin-Anwar pact will be a tough deal to broker.
“Although Muhyiddin’s image is positive due to his people-friendly policies and the incentives the government gave out during the movement-control order period, his image is marred by the allegations that he has bought his support from MPs through GLC appointments.
“And while the public do not appear to be overly concerned about this, so long as his policies are people-friendly, there will be a fallout within PKR if Anwar backs Muhyiddin at this juncture.”
Mazlan said it will be the second fallout within PKR in less than six months.
PKR, which won 50 federal seats in 2018, is now down to just 38 seats after Azmin pulled 10 other MPs out to join Bersatu.
Although Selangau MP Baru Bian resigned along with Azmin, he later decided to remain as an independent supporting Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Anwar will also have to justify why he would support Muhyiddin as this will affect DAP and Amanah, which are now backing Dr Mahathir in the fight against Muhyiddin.
“Although DAP and Amanah are still close to Anwar, the two parties will only support him if he can justify why it’s a necessary move.”
While in theory, the move is doable, it will be difficult to materialise as the possibility of Anwar backing Muhyiddin will also split PN, said Mazlan.
“If Anwar does back Muhyiddin, there will be a split in PN as some in Umno and the Azmin faction will not be comfortable with Anwar.
“Anwar backing Muhyiddin may look good in theory but in practice, it’s near impossible without some fallout or another within PH, PKR and even PN,” said Mazlan.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT