Uncertainty over Mahathir holds back opposition’s grand coalition plans

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Uncertainty over Dr Mahathir Mohamad might hold back talks within the opposition on setting up a grand coalition of parties to take power after the next general election, according to an analyst.

A political insider said leaders in Mahathir’s proposed party, Pejuang, and those of Amanah, DAP, Warisan and MUDA, are weighing the pros and cons of a new coalition.

DAP is still unsure if they want to be associated with Mahathir’s Pejuang or to remain with parliamentary opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

A DAP line up with Mahathir might alienate many Chinese voters, says a DAP source. “Those above 60 are likely to still vote for DAP but aged 50 and below may not support the move,” he told FMT.

“If they remain with Anwar’s PKR, the Chinese will still support PKR as they have no issues with the party,” he said.

He said the younger crowd are disappointed with Mahathir’s shenanigans in resigning from the premiership in 2020, and many felt their votes were not respected.

As for Amanah, he added the party is still split with some leaders supporting Mahathir and the remainder supporting Anwar.

“If Amanah allows Pejuang to use their flag, they know it will only work if other parties join the coalition too.

Pejuang, which has four MPs failed to register as a political party recently and said it may consider contesting the next general election using the Amanah logo.

Pejuang’s pro-tem deputy president Marzuki Yahya had confirmed the matter recently.

Amanah leaders also confirmed that the idea had been flouted but no official discussions on the matter have taken place yet.

Warisan will follow Mahathir, the source said. “They will support Mahathir for GE15 and as for MUDA, there are people pushing for this,” he said because MUDA is led by Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who was considered the “blue eyed” boy of Mahathir in the Pakatan Harapan coalition.

Grand coalition should be of PKR, Umno, DAP, GPS

Sociopolitical analyst Awang Azman Pawi said the four political parties with the strongest grassroots supporters are PKR, Umno, DAP, and GPS.

“They are the ones with experience and grassroots support. They know how to handle their grassroots too,” he added.

He said if these four were to form a grand coalition they could take on Putrajaya easily, and the other “smaller or mosquito” parties will die off.

Awang Azman also said there is no assurance that Pejuang will win any seats in the next GE, other than Mahathir, as the party is still new.

As for DAP, some of the members who are grateful to Mahathir for giving them Cabinet posts may still support him but the party may not get support from Chinese voters.

As for using the Amanah logo, he said the strategy may be a failure as the party still lacks grassroots. – FMT