PETALING JAYA: Two analysts have described Ketereh MP Annuar Musa as a bold Umno member with nothing to lose, after his blatant “disobedience” to party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s call for support to fast-track the general election.
However, the analysts say Annuar was in a minority of Umno members who did not want an early general election (GE15), although he has claimed that many in Barisan Nasional were against it.
Annuar had admitted to staying seated at BN’s convention on Thursday when Zahid urged delegates in support of an early GE15 to stand. He also claimed many others did not stand or were hesitant about doing so.
James Chin of the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute believed that the majority of Umno members – especially its grassroots supporters – want GE15 to be held as soon as possible.
He told FMT that Umno members believed they have strong momentum in their favour, following the results of the Melaka and Johor state elections.
“The best time (to hold GE15) for them is in July or August, that is the impression I get,” he said.
Chin added that Annuar knew Zahid and Najib Razak’s camp had regarded him as “an enemy” since last year, leaving him with little to lose in speaking out against the two figures.
Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara believed that there were some factions in Umno that were against a snap GE15 and were also more inclined to its Muafakat Nasional pact with PAS.
Annuar was among this group of Umno members, Azmi said. “He is more inclined to Umno not only contesting under MN but to also working with Bersatu.”
However, he agreed with Chin that these groups were in the minority in the party, adding that Umno’s strength right now would only be weakened by working with PAS and even more so Bersatu.
“Yes, Zahid is not getting 100% support from Umno and even BN. But we have to give credit to Zahid and his team. Since the outcome of GE14, Umno is now the strongest compared to other political parties.”
In his latest push against an early GE15, Annuar said Putrajaya’s memorandum of understanding with Pakatan Harapan had no expiry date.
He said the MoU provided backing for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob until Parliament was dissolved, while the date of dissolution was up to Ismail and the leadership.