PETALING JAYA: The next general election will decide the fate of ruling party Umno and its splinter Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), says Amanah President Mohamad Sabu.
“This is my personal view. If Pakatan Harapan (PH) wins the upcoming elections, Umno will die.
“But if (Umno president and Prime Minister) Najib (Razak) stays in power, PPBM will die.”
Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu, was speaking to FMT in an interview here, on Wednesday.
Dressed in Amanah’s white and orange shirt, the man who had spent more than three decades as a member and leader of Islamist party PAS, said his view was based on what had happened to Semangat 46, a former political outfit similar to PPBM.
Semangat 46 was formed in 1988 by Umno’s “Team B”, led by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. The party, after failing to defeat the Barisan Nasional at the 1990 and 1995 general elections, was disbanded in 1996.
Tengku Razaleigh then rejoined Umno.
“That is how I see it, based on Semangat 46. So the upcoming election, will be a life or death battle for Umno and PPBM,” added Mat Sabu.
Therefore, PPBM, despite having strong support on the ground, has to take into account all factors when facing GE14, he said. These include its stand on PAS, and the non-Malay voters’ opinion on a possible political alliance between PH and PAS, he added.
“Maybe they (PPBM leaders) are used to being the government, and so they are not very attentive to the character of Chinese voters,” said Mat Sabu when asked about PPBM’s ongoing effort to have PAS in the opposition’s fold.
“But maybe our friends from PPBM have to pay more attention to this. Don’t take lightly the role played by MCA, among others.
“Like how in the past, when they (BN) played up on PAS’ concept of an Islamic state, and a picture of (DAP Supremo) Lim Kit Siang in a turban was distributed widely.
“The psychological game had cost Lim his seat. So their (the Chinese) votes have to be taken into account even if it ranges just around 20% to 30%.”
Mat Sabu said he had voiced his concern at PH meetings, and hoped it would be considered in any decision the coalition made.
He also expressed confidence in PPBM chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s influence, especially as the 92-year-old had succeeded in securing enough support to make him the nation’s longest serving prime minister then.
Mahathir held the post for 22 years before stepping down in 2003.
“When he himself says the current government is useless, the public believes it.
“But in the next election, we want to see an increase in non-Malay votes, as well as the Malay votes.”