Analysts see Pribumi Bersatu being put in its place

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – May 25, 2017: Instead of focusing on winning the next general election, opposition party leaders appear to be more focused with putting Pribumi Bersatu in its place. 

This is the observation of political analysts following some awkward moments that PKR, DAP and Amanah had put Pribumi Bersatu through ever since the latter joined the opposition coalition three months ago.

Such moments include how leaders of the three parties downplayed a claim by Pribumi Bersatu chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad that he was made one of Pakatan Harapan’s advisors and the silent treatment given to party president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin when he suggested for Pakatan to be renamed Barisan Rakyat.

The latest that convinced geopolitical expert Dr. Azmi Hassan that Pribumi Bersatu was being schooled by the other parties was when everyone attending the PKR national congress last weekend were made to hold up the “Anwar as 7th PM” placards.

Everyone but Mahathir and Muhyiddin did so. Pribumi Bersatu wants Muhyiddin to be the next prime minister if the opposition wins the next general election.

According to Azmi, the opposition leaders’ passive-aggressive behaviour towards Pribumi Bersatu was not without merits.

“The problem with Pribumi Bersatu is that it has been quite demanding since joining Pakatan, particularly over the next PM issue.

“I think the other opposition leaders are creating these awkward situations to alert Pribumi Bersatu that it is the leadership of DAP, PKR and Amanah that will have the final say in any decision-making,” Azmi reasoned.

Despite such poor treatment, Pribumi Bersatu is not likely to leave the opposition, according to Professor Mohamad Azizudin Md. Sani of Universiti Utara Malaysia.

“I also doubt that the other opposition leaders will overdo it (poorly treating Pribumi Bersatu).

“They know that they cannot beat Barisan Nasional without the help of Pribumi Bersatu. It is just that they also want the party to stop hogging the limelight, something which Pribumi Bersatu has been doing since it joined Pakatan,” observed Azizudin.

But despite the Pribumi Bersatu leadership appearing to barely react to the snubs, the same cannot be said of the party’s supporters.

“The way I see it, Mahathir and Muhyiddin have accepted the new reality they are in…. as the new kids on the block.

“But if they are unable to persuade their grassroots to endure the occasional friendly-fire, then Pakatan might end up losing more support,” he reasoned.

Angry comments by Pribumi Bersatu supporters have been flooding social media following what happened at the PKR congress.

“PH should be grateful to Pribumi Bersatu. Had us decided to not join the coalition, it (PH) would never stand a chance against BN. It’s a good thing that Dr Mahathir is a patient man,” wrote Raffidi Mispan.

“Despite his short time in the opposition bloc, Tun (Dr Mahathir) has achieved so much more than DAP, PKR and Amanah. It is so sad to see that PH is still hell-bent in humiliating him despite being in the same boat,” vented Muhammad Zakhiri.

“As a lifetime member of Pribumi Bersatu, I’m all for my beloved party to leave PH. Here’s a newsflash for you PH, Dr Mahathir has the support of millions of Malaysian, we’ll do just fine without PH,” wote Qyna Arjuna.



About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.