Analyst: Fate of rebel Umno MPs on ‘chopping board’

PETALING JAYA: The botched attempt to topple the Perikatan Nasional government will have an adverse effect on the rebel Umno MPs, predicts a political analyst.

Prof Wong Chin Huat said their political careers could be in jeopardy as Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will want to consolidate his support.

On the other hand, he said the breakaway Umno MPs led by party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi were faced with a “do or die” situation.

“It is unlikely that Umno leaders who have gone all out will allow Muhyiddin his sweet time of a month to build back a coalition and let themselves be condemned to political wilderness.

“While the fate of the members of the court cluster cannot be worse, others who pulled out are putting their political careers on the chopping board.

“A failed uprising means the reverse takeover by Muhyiddin loyalists who will in turn deny the rebels candidacy under Umno in GE15,” he said when contacted.

The court cluster refers to Umno MPs facing court charges, namely Ahmad Zahid who is the Bagan Datuk MP, Pekan MP Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan and Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim.

Wong said with the high stakes at present, Umno MPs led by Ahmad Zahid must be able to convince more of their colleagues to retract support for the Perikatan government, so it could at least force a “reorganisation” of the current government.

“So, expect to see more Umno MPs leave.

“With every one minister or deputy minister leaving the government, those who stay back with Muhyiddin will face tremendous pressure from the party grassroots,” he added.

Wong also said as experienced previously, it will not be surprising if some MPs change their stance “twice or thrice”.

Universti Malaya’s Prof Dr Awang Azman Pawi said he expected the political temperature to heat up if there were more Umno ministers resigning or more of its MPs withdrawing support for Perikatan.

He said the numbers possessed by Muhyiddin and Ahmad Zahid will change in the coming days due to the fluidity of the political situation.

“This is political dynamics that can change at any time,” he added.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) political analyst Suffian Mansor expressed similar sentiments, saying Muhyiddin’s special address yesterday showed that the Pagoh MP was ready to fight to stay on as prime minister.

Noting the volatility of the current political situation, he said developments in the coming days will be closely watched as there will be intense horse-trading among MPs.

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