PAS-led PN a double-edged sword, says analyst

PAS-led PN a double-edged sword, says analyst

PAS-led PN a double-edged sword, says analyst
Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin with Abdul Hadi Awang, who is said to lack the trust of component parties to assume leadership of the coalition.

PETALING JAYA: A political analyst has warned that putting PAS at the helm of Perikatan Nasional (PN) may end up being a double-edged sword for the coalition.

The suggestion for the Islamic party to take over leadership of PN arose after six Bersatu MPs declared their support for the unity government in recent months.

Syaza Shukri of International Islamic University Malaysia said PN could become stronger with PAS assuming the chair as the move would resonate better with the “Islamic preferences” of the electorate.

“It would make PN’s agenda clearer to the public, but the (disadvantage) would be that talk of a supposedly multiracial PN (involving Gerakan) would fall on deaf ears,” she told FMT.

“It would be difficult to convince non-Malays that PN would be a coalition for all – more difficult than it is now.”


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Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya meanwhile said PN’s accomplishments may be limited under PAS’s leadership, especially if party president Abdul Hadi Awang assumes control.

“Hadi might be seen as the number one leader of PAS, but he lacks trust from PN components to replace Muhyiddin Yassin.

“If possible, they should appoint Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar, who is supposedly moderate, as the PN chairman and (its candidate for) prime minister,” he said, adding that it would serve as a test of Samsuri’s suitability.

Samsuri, a former academic with a degree in aerospace engineering, was an aide to Hadi and has been touted as a possible future prime minister.

However, Awang Azman also acknowledged that Selangor PN chairman Azmin Ali and Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin may be more suitable candidates due to their perceived political “cunning”.


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Umno veteran Shahrir Samad said on Sunday that the shift of support by the six MPs was on account of Bersatu being embroiled in internal problems.

He suggested that PAS take over leadership of the opposition coalition, sparking a reaction from Tasek Gelugor MP Wan Saiful Wan Jan who claimed that Muhyiddin was chosen as PN chairman for his ability to unite its component parties.

Bukit Gantang MP Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal previously claimed that several PN MPs had decided to support the unity government because they were disappointed with the party and felt unappreciated and neglected.

Mazlan Ali of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia said PAS would not rush to claim charimanship of PN as part of the electorate believes its ideological stance does not match the country’s multiracial composition.

He also noted how PAS had accepted Dr Mahathir Mohamad, despite the former prime minister being rejected in the 15th general election.


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“This shows that PAS may give Muhyiddin one more chance to continue his leadership of PN,” he said.

Meanwhile, Syaza and Awang Azman questioned Wan Saiful’s defence of Muhyiddin, saying his ability to unite PN was debatable.

Awang Azman also noted that Muhyiddin had failed to rein in the six rebel MPs.

“Due to a crisis of confidence in leadership, many have defected,” he said.

Syaza added that ultimately, it is critical that the coalition stay together, regardless of who is in charge.

PAS-led PN a double-edged sword, says analyst



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