Agenda to restore ketuanan Melayu, oust DAP from the government and stop Anwar from becoming next PM.
Expelled PKR leader Mohamed Azmin Ali and former Barisan Nasional MP Hamzah Zainuddin played on Bersatu’s fears to get the party out of Pakatan Harapan, party sources told The Malaysian Insight.
“They played on the fears of some supreme council members and lured them with government positions, if they formed a new government with Umno and PAS,” said one of the sources.
“They said a Bersatu-Umno-PAS government would restore ketuanan Melayu, adding that this was a way to oust DAP from the government.
“On top of that, they said that this was a way to stop PKR president Anwar Ibrahim from becoming the next prime minister.”
The party source told The Malaysian Insight there were elements in Bersatu, who dislike DAP because they feel the party is “too overbearing” and their hatred for Anwar goes back all the way to his Umno days.
“However, it doesn’t really make sense to hate DAP because while they can be obnoxious, they also have the better-performing ministers in the cabinet.
“But promises of positions without DAP gave them a reason to support the Bersatu-Umno-PAS idea,” said the source.
Azmin has been embroiled in a power struggle with Anwar since the party’s fractious elections in 2018 and this was his way of ensuring his own political survival, said another source.
To achieve his goal, he promised “the moon and the stars” to Bersatu to leave PH, so that it would fall and allow a new government of Bersatu-Umno-PAS to emerge, the person added.
“He even suggested that Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin could be the next prime minister instead of Anwar.”
However, their plan hit a roadblock on Sunday when Bersatu chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad refused to attend the dinner at the Sheraton Hotel, said the source.
Worse, Dr Mahathir resigned as prime minister on Monday and followed it up by stepping down as the Bersatu chairman.
“They went to his house to try to convince him, but Dr Mahathir said he didn’t want to work with some of the Umno leaders facing corruption trials.”
Yet another problem was their plan, said the source.
“Bersatu (26), Barisan Nasional (42) and PAS (18) only have 86 MPs. Added to Azmin’s 11, we only have 97, are short and need Gabungan Parti Sarawak (18) and Warisan Sabah (9).
“But GPS won’t work with DAP or PAS, and Warisan won’t work with PAS. So, how were we going to form a new government?”
Hamzah’s role in Bersatu began with Malay Dignity Congress in October 2019.
After joining Bersatu in February 2019, Hamzah mooted a joint platform with Bersatu, Umno and PAS to unite the Malays.
Using the theme of Malay unity, the Larut MP gathered leaders from all three Malay parties for the first time since the last elections.
Following the event, Dr Mahathir saw a 20-point drop in popularity among non-Malay voters, culminating in a massive defeat at the Tg Piai by-election.
Following the collapse of PH after Dr Mahathir’s resignation on Monday, Azmin and his followers have been accused of betraying the PH coalition and Malaysians.
However, they insist that they’re simply trying to save the country and would continue to support interim prime minister Dr Mahathir.
The 11 former PKR lawmakers, including Azmin, said their moves over the weekend to secure support for Dr Mahathir were aimed at ensuring the country’s stability.
They said they did not want Dr Mahathir to be forced to set a date for his resignation, as changing the head of government midway would give the wrong message to the people and investors.
“We are certain that the attempt to force the prime minister to set his resignation date is malicious, aimed at turning him into a ‘lame-duck PM’,” the group said in a statement. TMI