PETALING JAYA: PPBM is seen as trapped in a predicament of its own making, with one political analyst saying its only chance of survival lies in reuniting with Pakatan Harapan and another saying it has probably doomed itself to political worthlessness.
Both Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya and Aziz Hassan of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia said they believed PPBM was fast losing public support.
When news broke last Sunday of a plot to overthrow the Pakatan Harapan government by PPBM, Umno, PAS and PKR rebels led by Azmin Ali, it was widely believed that Dr Mahathir Mohamad was one of the conspirators.
But it soon came to light that he was not. He said he was averse to working with Umno and announced his resignation from his prime minister’s post as well as from PPBM, which he served as chairman.
He has since accepted the position of interim prime minister.
PPBM has rejected his resignation from the party and said it wanted him to remain as prime minister.
But the party now appears to have been left without a willing partner except for Azmin’s PKR faction. Neither PAS nor Umno is in the mood to agree to a proposed unity government. The two parties have in fact called for fresh elections.
To make matters worse for PPBM, its youth wing is in support of Mahathir’s refusal to work with Umno.
Awang Azman told FMT it would be a mistake for PBBM’s top leaders to continue supporting the coup move and risk alienating lower echelon leaders who might be against it. He also speculated that a large section of the public was against the move.
He said it was clear to him that the only option left for the party was to eat humble pie and seek to rejoin PH.
Citing media reports, he said PPBM’s top leaders seemed to be listening more to their political secretaries than to Mahathir.
He added: “It’s hard for PPBM to get support without Mahathir. Its future hangs on his blessing.
“Even if there is a general election, it’s hard for it win because PKR, Umno and PAS would be its main competitors.”
Azmi told FMT he could not see PPBM escaping negative consequences whether it rejoins PH or continues working with Umno and PAS.
He said it had given the damaging impression that it could not be trusted.
He also said it was possible that PPBM leaders were in haste when they made the decision to leave PH.
“It seems they were making key decisions without much thought,” he added.
“Now statements are coming out from some PPBM leaders saying they will not work with Umno due to its past corrupt practices.
“Does this mean it’s okay to work with PAS since PPBM cannot stand alone in the current political climate?”
PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin announced yesterday that MPs from the party named Mahathir for prime minister during their audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Also yesterday, Mahathir in a live broadcast asked for the opportunity to find a way out of the crisis caused by PH’s collapse, adding that he felt the solution would lie in the formation of a government free of partisan politics.