Umno Decision Leaves Anwar S Govt More Secure Says Analyst
The no-contest motion by the Umno general assembly is seen as strengthening Anwar Ibrahim’s government, in which Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is a deputy prime minister.PETALING JAYA: Umno’s decision to not allow contests for its two top posts would be a boost for Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government, but problems within Umno are likely to deepen, an analyst said.
Ibrahim Suffian of Merdeka Center said that while the divisional leaders might be agreeable with the no-contest decision, grassroot members might feel otherwise.
“Perhaps the division leaders can accept it because many are loyal to party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and the old guards of the party. For the ordinary members, it is something that they will take time to accept,” he told FMT.
Ibrahim said the immediate effect was Anwar’s government had a better chance of surviving beyond the Umno party elections, which must be held by May 19.
“But this depends on how the Anwar government performs. Near-term, the outlook is better because there’s no uncertainty within Umno.
“But let’s say Zahid loses the presidency for some reason, how will the new leader decide on cooperation with Pakatan Harapan? So, for now, that question is removed.
“But not for long as Zahid has court cases to go through. Then somewhere along the road, his deputy Mohamad Hasan might have to stand in as acting president, which lends some sense of uncertainty,” he said.
Ibrahim said for now, Umno members will have to contend with Zahid being president, despite a popular notion that his unpopularity led to a poor showing at the last general election.
Universiti Malaya socio-political analyst Awang Azman Pawi said the election decision would lead to the strengthening of the coalition behind the unity government, with a fortified team of Zahid and Anwar who have been friends for decades.
Zahid was a leader of Umno Youth in the 1980s while Anwar was deputy president. Zahid is now a deputy prime minister in the government led by Anwar. - FMT
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