KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — Pakatan Harapan will have more to gain if it keeps its alliance with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) until the 14th general elections, political pundits said.
Despite the seeming disorder within, most of the analysts see the youngest Opposition party in the peninsula led by political heavyweights Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as crucial to breaking Umno’s iron-grip on the rural heartland.
“There is not much harm for PH to be associated with PPBM as PPBM’s disarray doesn’t affect PH’s core support,” Oh Ei Sun told Malay Mail Online when contacted, referring to the Pakatan Harapan pact comprising PKR, DAP and Amanah.
“And dissociating from PPBM runs the risk of having three-cornered fights in some seats which will surely benefit Umno,” added the analyst from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
A rift appears to have opened in the Umno splinter party less than four months after its registration last September. Despite denials from its top echelon, one of PPBM’s co-founding members, Anina Saadudin, continues to cry foul play over her removal as head of the Srikandi women’s wing.
Faisal Hazis from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) appeared optimistic that PPBM was just undergoing teething problems and said some time should be given for the leaders to patch up.
“PPBM is targeting Umno-Malay votes and that is the kind of votes that Pakatan needs to secure a big win in the next general election,” he said.
The associate professor at UKM’s Institute of Malaysian and International Studies said problems within PPBM will not affect the Pakatan pact as their targets did not overlap.
“Having said that, if Pakatan continues to be affiliated with PPBM and let’s say if PPBM fails to address their internal problems and if it prolongs until the election, then it will be a problem,” he added.
He cautioned PPBM leaders against airing any more of their internal disputes publicly as it would only tarnish their party’s image.
Zaini Othman, a political analyst at Malaysia Sabah University, said it was common for political parties to have issues.