Muhyiddin made best decision not to defend Bersatu president post - Analysts

KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin made the best decision of not defending his post in the upcoming party polls slated for next year, said analysts.

Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research senior fellow Dr Azmi Hassan said this was amidst reports of disgruntled party leaders, who claimed that it might not even last until the next general election.

"The main reason for (some Bersatu leaders) to switch allegiance towards (prime minister) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is because they have lost confidence in Bersatu and Muhyiddin's leadership.

"Immediately after the state elections, Bersatu seemed to have lost their mojo, direction and vision," he told the New Straits Times.

Azmi said Bersatu needs a new leader as it could be overshadowed by Pas, an ally in Perikatan Nasional (PN), if it remained as it is.

While several names have been mentioned as the likely candidates for the presidential post, Hamzah stood out the most due to the fact that he was appointed the opposition leader, he said.

"When Muhyiddin declined to be named as the opposition leader due to his health issues, he might also have had the intention to groom (party secretary-general) Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin to be Bersatu's next leader because of his capability.

"There are a lot of camps in Bersatu, but the one that supports Hamzah is the strongest and I don't think he would face any challenge."

Azmi said Bersatu needs to strengthen itself as a party and further solidify its position in the coalition.

"While the parties need each other, Bersatu needs Pas more than Pas needs Bersatu."

Political analyst Dr Ainul Adzellie Hasnul, however, warned Muhyiddin's absence as Bersatu's top figure might cause further rifts in the party.

"Several senior party leaders expressed their lack of faith in the party, with four members of parliament from Bersatu declaring their support to the prime minister, and this act is considered detrimental to the party.

"Bersatu must have a commendable president to bring the party to greater heights and lead the PN as it hopes to recapture Putrajaya."

Ainul said Hamzah is the most likely candidate to take over the party leadership, while supreme council member Datuk Seri Azmin Ali is considered as the dark horse for the president post.

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