Malaysia not ready for non-partisan govt, say analysts

An analyst says the current political culture is still conservative, with political patronage and feudal politics widely practised in the nation. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Analysts say Malaysia is not ready for the establishment of a non-partisan government, citing a lack of political literacy in both the people and politicians.

Awang Azman Pawi, of Universiti Malaya, said the current “political culture” was still conservative, highlighting that political patronage and feudal politics were still widely practised in the nation.

“The people of Malaysia are not ready for a non-partisan government as long as they do not have a high level of political literacy,” he told FMT.

Awang Azman Pawi.

He said the attempt at a non-partisan government was only a temporary solution until the expiry of the existing mandate in 2023 when the next general election must be held.

Yesterday, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he felt the formation of a government that is free of partisan politics could be the solution to the ongoing crisis caused by the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan coalition this week.

The interim prime minister had also said he was willing to accept Umno members who had left the party but could not accept having Umno as a party in the coalition forming the government.

Azmi Hassan, of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, said the idea mooted by Mahathir was not realistic as it would be difficult for the different party members to work with their political “nemeses”.

Azmi Hassan.

“The idea of Mahathir, as the prime minister, governing without any tie to political parties is going to be very difficult and I don’t think it’s going to be realised.

“Umno and PAS have stated very clearly that they won’t work with DAP. And PPBM, through PPBM Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, has said that they won’t work with Umno.

“I think our politicians are still more into their own party’s ideology.”

Azmi told FMT that Mahathir’s stand of not accepting Umno was difficult to realise, adding that it would be a “very, very sensitive issue” for its MPs to leave the party.