PETALING JAYA: With no one willing to work with him due to his party’s history of shifting loyalties, former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s Bersatu is in a “dire” situation, political pundits say.
“Umno has rejected working with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), due to the bad blood between them, especially after many Umno MPs jumped to Bersatu after the 14th general election,” said analyst Dr Azmi Hassan.
Pakatan Harapan, Warisan and even Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) have rejected any cooperation with Bersatu and the Perikatan Nasional coalition it leads.
The other members of the coalition are PAS, Gerakan and Sabah-based STAR and SAPP.
“It looks very dire for Bersatu and Perikatan as the recent Johor and Melaka state elections showed that the coalition cannot go it alone in the 15th general election.
“They are in a desperate situation,” he said.
On April 1, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who leads Pejuang, had claimed that Muhyiddin met him to seek his help to regain the prime minister’s post.
Dr Mahathir announced that he would not support Muhyiddin’s bid.
Muhyiddin, however, claimed he had taken the initiative to approach other party leaders on a possible pact for the next elections.
So far, it has not been fruitful.
Muhyiddin was prime minister for 17 months from March 2020 before he resigned in August last year. He was replaced by Umno’s Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has also warned party members against any alliance with Bersatu and Perikatan.
Azmi said the only way forward for Bersatu now was to have a fresh leadership.
“Muhyiddin is a stumbling block for Bersatu,” he said, adding that the party had a number of leaders capable of taking over the party.
“However, the problem is that they are all former Umno or PKR leaders,” he said.
“Can the Bersatu grassroots accept these leaders?”
National Professors Council senior fellow Dr Jeniri Amir said Perikatan was now “trapped” due to its own actions.
“It can either try to make some adjustments by finding other possible partners or it can remain with its current coalition members.
“But it will be hard for any of them to win seats if they were to go solo,” he said.
“Bersatu does not have an effective grassroots machinery unlike Umno.”
Jeniri also suggested that Perikatan look for other narratives to win over voters.
However, Bersatu youth chief Wan Ahmad Faysal Wan Ahmad Kamal remains optimistic about his party’s chances in GE15.
He said more discussions were needed on the matter, within Bersatu as well as with others.