PETALING JAYA: Bersatu appears to be heading for a leadership crisis with question marks over who will lead the party moving forward.
This comes after a three-day long annual general assembly ended yesterday without a clear succession plan for the party’s top post.
A well-placed source said Muhyiddin Yassin’s shock retraction of his decision not to defend the presidency may lead to an internal rift within the party’s Supreme Council.
He said Muhyiddin’s “U-turn” was bound to cause discontent within certain camps.
“Bersatu leaders were ready for Muhyiddin to step down as president.
“The name that was being mentioned as a possible replacement was secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin, and many agreed with this choice,” he said.
Muhyiddin had previously acknowledged calls for a change in the party leadership, including by Supreme Council member Eddin Syazlee Shith, who earlier said a reshuffle was needed to fill a “void” in the party.
On Friday, he announced that he would not defend his post in next year’s party elections. He said Bersatu had many capable leaders and it was time for him to let go of the party’s reins.
Several Bersatu leaders, however, refused to accept his decision.
Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said he would push for a motion to ensure that Muhyiddin remains as president, while deputy president Ahmad Faizal Azumu expressed surprise, noting the reaction of the delegates who stood up to voice their displeasure.
On Saturday, Muhyiddin reversed his decision and said he would defend his presidency.
“I wanted to resign. But my wife said stay on for another term,” he said.
Bersatu scored its best-ever election result in the 15th general election last year, winning 31 seats in the Dewan Rakyat.
However, with the leadership position still unresolved, the party’s prospects of building on that success have been plunged into doubt.