Muhyiddin’s U-turn on Bersatu presidency unlikely to stave off future challengers, say analysts


Dr Azmi believed that there would be challenges to Muhyiddin’s leadership because he is considered to be weak and the reason why several parliamentarians from the party declared support for Mr Anwar. 

“His initial decision was the best decision he made. I don’t think Bersatu lacks leaders that can replace him. Muhyiddin is viewed as being very weak and I expect him to be challenged during the party polls,” he said. 

Dr Azmi added that in Malaysia, politicians must be seen as being humble and not arrogant when it comes to vying for positions. 

This was the reason no one openly supported Muhyiddin’s decision not to defend his Bersatu presidency during the party convention, he explained.

“They will make the move during the polls, which is quite some time away. It wouldn’t be seen to be polite and appropriate to challenge (Muhyiddin) during the convention,” he said.   

Local news reports have hinted that Muhyiddin and Mr Hamzah do not see eye to eye on the party’s direction, although the latter has denied this.    

According to Dr Azmi, there are two camps in Bersatu that are viewed as strong – one faction which is aligned to Mr Hamzah and the other to Mr Radzi. 

Mr Hamzah, who is Larut MP, has held the position of Home Minister while Mr Radzi who is currently MP for Putrajaya is a former Education Minister.  

Dr Azmi believed that Mr Azmin, who joined Bersatu after being sacked from PKR, will face difficulties making a challenge for the presidency because he does not have the grassroots support in Bersatu and is still considered to be an outsider in the party.

Dr Azmi also does not consider former Perak chief minister Faizal Azamu to be so influential and having clout in the party, despite holding the post of deputy president. 

Dr Awang Azman separately thinks that there might not be interest in the position of the president for now as it does not bring the position of prime minister with it considering Mr Anwar’s strong position in parliament. 

“There will be a challenge next year if there are sentiments that he needs to go,” he said.

Dr Oh, on the other hand, believed there would not be any serious challenge to Muhyiddin from the party’s major leaders as they had already affirmed their support for him. 

He, however, believed that there would have been a heated contest if Muhyiddin had stepped down as many in the party felt they were qualified to take his place. 

“If the challenger could bring about a fresh and convincing change in the party’s direction, it could actually strengthen the party,” said Dr Oh. 

Source: CNA

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