PETALING JAYA: Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) will continue to be sidelined by Pakatan Harapan if the party cannot offer any political contribution to the coalition, said analysts.
Universiti Sains Malaysia senior lecturer Dr Azmil Mohd Tayeb said the coming state elections may be one of the reasons why Pakatan is still reluctant to include Muda as part of its coalition.
He said Muda had been sidelined in the seat negotiations among the various political parties in the unity government.
He said Pakatan would prefer Muda to stand independently as a third force.
He said the game-changer would be if Muda could court the young Malays who had voted for Perikatan Nasional in the general election and deliver their votes to Pakatan.
Since September last year, Muda has officially written four letters to Pakatan to join the coalition.
Last month, Pakatan secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said he had yet to read Muda’s application to join the coalition.
Azmi Hassan, a senior fellow at the Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research, said that Pakatan does not view Muda as a formidable party after only winning one parliament seat in the last general election.
“Muda cannot prove that they can add value to Pakatan or the unity government,” he said.
He said Muda wants to be part of Pakatan before the coming state elections, but this is unlikely.
“Pakatan has to deal with Umno on seat allocation for the coming polls. Muda definitely wants some seats. As such, Muda is the least of Pakatan’s priorities now, and it must take a back seat.”
Political analyst Prof Sivamurugan Pandian said Pakatan’s hesitation in allowing Muda to join the coalition might be due to trust issues.
“Pakatan may be cautious in dealing with Muda after the Johor state polls, when Muda decided to put their candidate on despite the earlier agreement.
“Also, Pakatan may want to see how Muda can contribute to the pact beyond Syed Saddiq,” he added.
In the Johor state polls last year, Muda fielded a candidate in a six-cornered fight in Larkin where one of the candidates was from PKR.
Sivamurugan said Syed Saddiq’s past relationship with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) might also be a factor.
“Maybe Pakatan wants to see Muda standing on their own rather than still being perceived as close to Dr Mahathir,” he added.
Syed Saddiq was part of Bersatu, which Dr Mahathir headed before the 2018 general election. He won the Muar parliamentary seat on a Bersatu ticket but successfully defended it under Muda last year.