‘Make or break’ first year for PN, say analysts

PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin with Umno, PAS and other party leaders before they formed a new government as Perikatan Nasional.

PETALING JAYA: Two political analysts say if Perikatan Nasional can survive the first one year together it may then sail though until the next general election.

Universiti Malaya political analyst Awang Azman Awang Pawi said the first year will be a “test” for the new partnership of Barisan Nasional, PPBM, and PAS.

“If they fail BN will look at ways to call a snap election.

“There are those in Umno who feel that they won the majority and they have more right,” he told FMT, referring to BN and PAS who have 60 MPs together while PPBM has 37.

Awang Azman said several Umno leaders are also unhappy at failing to secure several important Cabinet posts, in the new Cabinet line-up

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had said during his first press conference that senior minister Mohamed Azmin Ali will chair Cabinet meetings during his absence.

Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said had tweeted that Muhyiddin’s Cabinet has unfair party representation while Johor Baru Umno chief Shahrir Samad claimed it does not represent the en bloc spirit of Perikatan Nasional.

Sabah Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin who was not appointed a minister lamented that Sabah Umno was not represented in the Cabinet. Former Johor Menteri Besar Khaled Nordin has also reminded Perikatan Nasional that they are not just passengers in the new government.

The current Cabinet comprises 31 ministers – 11 from PPBM, 9 from Umno, and one each from MIC and MCA.

Awang Azman said the feeling within Umno was that the party had been used to create a new government and then “discarded” when PPBM leaders achieved their goal of obtaining a parliamentary majority, allowing them to form a government.

“If such feelings continue, they could push for snap elections” he said. “If they survive the first year together, they will then face head-on as they fight for seats in the general election,” he added.

Political analyst Kamarul Zaman Yusoff also gave the coalition about a year.

“This arrangement may last at least for a year. As for now, they will be together. That’s because they share the same common enemy, DAP, which will keep Umno and PPBM together,” he told FMT.

He said both parties want DAP out of the picture.

Kamarul Zaman added that the recent grouses by Umno senior leaders will not have any serious repercussions.

“Those voicing grouses, they will continue doing so. It will not disappear but it may slow down as Muhyiddin would know how to manage them,” he said.

He said as for now, only Pakatan Harapan under the leadership of PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim, may be keen to push for a vote of no confidence when the Dewan Rakyat convenes.

“But there is still 2 more months to go. By then Muhyiddin will have more support.

“PH will find it hard to win a vote of no confidence. Muhyiddin, as the prime minister, will have more resources at hand,” he added.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia senior lecturer Suffian Mansor said dissatisfaction is brewing among Umno but it is too early for them to go separate ways.

“At least for now they will work together. Umno will see the situation and wait.

“If things don’t work out, then BN may want to form their own government,” he said, adding that as for now Umno leaders are still at the stage of reminding Muhyiddin that their party could make or break the coalition.

“They are reminding Muhyiddin that his party is not that strong compared to Umno,” added Suffian.