Analysts have questioned Anwar Ibrahim’s chances of following through with his plan for a Malay-Muslim government, saying the PKR president would first have to unite the country’s Malay political parties – a difficult hurdle given the complexities involved in getting them to work together.
“The problem for Anwar is if he forms the government and PAS is part of it – PAS will surely object to the presence of Amanah,” James Chin from the University of Tasmania told MalaysiaNow.
“This is the challenge that Anwar will have to face to improve the relationship between Amanah and PAS which, of course, has nothing to do with DAP,” he added.
Amanah, the PAS splinter party led by Mohamad Sabu, was formed by a group of leaders who lost in the 2015 party elections.
Anwar declared at a press conference three weeks ago that he possessed “formidable and convincing” majority support from MPs to form a new government.
“The numbers don’t add up.”
In a later meeting with PKR assemblymen, he also said his administration would be a Malay-Muslim one.
But Azmi Hassan from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia said it would be impossible for Anwar to form a Malay-Muslim government based on actual figures in the Dewan Rakyat.
He told MalaysiaNow that in order to obtain the support of Malay-Muslim MPs, Anwar would need to win the support of parties such as Umno, Bersatu, PAS and Amanah.
“The numbers don’t add up,” he added. “Bersatu would have to give its support, and Umno too, along with some from PRS and GPS.
“Even then, it would not be enough for a formidable majority.”
He said it would be difficult for Anwar to get enough support for a new government in the first place as DAP, the biggest party in the Pakatan Harapan coalition, would have problems working with MPs from Umno, especially those who have been charged with corruption.
“Minus off PAS, because they have openly said that they will not support Anwar.”
He added that the past few days had seen many MPs denying their support for the PKR leader.
“So in this case, Anwar’s definition of ‘formidable’ can be questioned.”
At least 10 MPs have denied suggestions that they would back Anwar for the prime minister’s position, including Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Ahmad Maslan, Bung Moktar Radin, Mahdzir Khalid, Idris Jusoh, Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and Shahidan Kassim.
A few of them have also lodged police reports.
Chin said even the Chinese voters do not believe that Anwar possesses the majority needed to form a new government.
“I think most Chinese in Malaysia do not believe Anwar’s claim of having majority support. They are adopting a wait-and-see approach,” he told MalaysiaNow.
“I think everyone doubts that he has the numbers, and even if he does, I do not think that they are stable.”