Dr. Maszlee Malik
Mantan Menteri Pendidikan Malaysia | Pengerusi IAIS

Give Me One Reason Why Zahid Hamidi and Najib Razak Would Want to give Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin the Chance to Become Prime Minister Again?

On 5 June 2020, Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, a member of the UMNO Supreme Council, made a clear and sharp statement.

UMNO has rejected Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) registration as a formal body. He said that Bersatu is the sole faction trying to ‘formalise’ the establishment of PN as this is the only way for Bersatu to survive.

This is not the first time UMNO leaders have expressed such a stand. Tok Mat of Negeri Sembilan, Nur Jazlan, Ku Nan and other UMNO Supreme Council members have voiced out similar opinions.

In short, UMNO does not need Bersatu. It is Bersatu that needs UMNO.

Also on the same day, UMNO and PAS held discussions at the UMNO headquarters to prepare for the 15th General Election (GE15).

This discussion only involved UMNO and PAS, but not Bersatu. So why is it that Bersatu was not invited to the discussion table?

To understand how complicated and isolated Bersatu’s position is, allow me to offer a simple example to analyse the strength and power of UMNO and PAS.

For example, in Semenanjung, UMNO had contested 105 seats and had won 46 seats.

UMNO’s strength ratio is 46 out of 105, which is equivalent to 43.8%.

PAS had contested 144 seats and won 18 seats. The PAS’s strength ratio is 18 out of 114, which is equivalent to 12.5%.

Bersatu had contested 52 seats and won 13 seats. The strength ratio of Bersatu is 13 out of 52, which is equivalent to 25%.

Now, the important question here is, through the Perikatan Nasional collaboration, just how many seats does PAS have to sacrifice to give way to UMNO and Bersatu in order to prevent a 3-cornered fight?

And let’s not forget PAS’s history – how in the negotiations on the distribution of seats in Pakatan Rakyat, PAS had fielded its own candidates in DUN Kota Damansara and DUN Sungai Aceh which had resulted in a 3-cornered fight that had compromised Pakatan Rakyat’s victory then.

In the 14th General Election (GE14), there were 3-cornered fights in 46 seats between Bersatu, UMNO and PAS. Bersatu only won 10 seats, UMNO won 30 seats, and PAS won 6 seats.

It is almost impossible for PAS and UMNO to simply hand over the 36 seats that they had won to Bersatu.

It is quite doubtful that Bersatu would have the capacity to even retain the existing 10-seat dichotomy.

During GE14, Bersatu had contested against MIC, MCA or Gerakan in 4 seats. Tg Piai’s by-election had proven that MCA is capable of recapturing a Bersatu seat. Do you think in GE15, Gerakan and MCA would be all too willing to give way to Bersatu?

There were 2 other seats, Kota Tinggi and Pengerang, which had seen a 1-to-1 contest between Bersatu and UMNO. As the President of Bersatu and a Johorean, can Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin negotiate with UMNO for UMNO to give way to Bersatu in Kota Tinggi and Pengerang without any objection?

Constituencies with generally non-Malay voters that are held by Bersatu would no longer be allocated to Bersatu because the victory attained under the PH coalition was due to DAP’s support.

Under PN, the chances of winning in constituencies like these are very slim. In fact, these constituencies will be monopolised by MCA and MIC. The constituencies in question are Tapah, Tanjung Piai, Alor Gajah and Simpang Renggam.

As for the east coast, for example, Bersatu can just close shop because there is no reason for Bersatu to even contest there.

Of the 16 seats out of 34 seats in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang which Bersatu had contested, all were lost. Bersatu had merely garnered 101,488 votes out of 884,773 votes; which means that Bersatu’s popular vote on the east coast only stands at 11.5%.

I am laying out this simple scenario for Bersatu members and grassroots to easily grasp the reality and understand – that by hanging onto PN’s arms, Bersatu is in for a difficult and gruelling journey ahead.

That is, if UMNO and PAS agree to formally establish PN.

My concern is that those who are crying out their support may have only been doing so in vain; because it is a fact that even till today, UMNO has yet to make any statement to confirm that UMNO would be contesting in GE15 under the banner of PN.

I have also written on how Bersatu will be marginalised very unfairly. No UMNO leader has objected to this or issued a statement defending Bersatu and none has said that UMNO is willing to share seats with Bersatu.

Even so, Bersatu will no longer be a dominant party under PN (if it is established).

UMNO is the dominant party and of course the Prime Minister candidate will no longer be Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, rather it will be someone from UMNO. Undoubtedly, the candidates would be in the likes of Najib Razak or Zahid Hamidi.

UMNO currently has 39 seats while Bersatu has only 12 seats (if you don’t minus the 5 seats which allegedly have lost their party membership) including the 14 MPs who had jumped to Bersatu from UMNO.

Will these 14 UMNO MPs who had jumped to Bersatu now return to UMNO and contest their seats on an UMNO ticket, not Bersatu; as they had previously won their seats under the UMNO ticket?

The PN Menteri Besar posts are also no longer dominated by Bersatu following the change of state governments in Johor, Melaka, and Kedah.

In simple terms, the Bersatu leadership had sacrificed these states merely to support one individual. This had never happened in PH!

In Perak, for example, the exco lineup is now dominated by UMNO, with 6 UMNO state exco members out of the total 11.

Whenever I meet and discuss with Bersatu grassroot members, this is exactly what I have presented and will continue to present. Come, give me the formula for Bersatu to remain dominant if Bersatu stays with PN as what is being trumpeted all this while.

Just give me one reason why Zahid Hamidi and Najib Razak would want to give Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin the chance to become Prime Minister again?

YB Dr Maszlee Malik
MPT Member, Bersatu

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Dr. Maszlee Malik adalah mantan Menteri Pendidikan Malaysia dan Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pendidikan Pakatan Harapan.

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