Barisan Nasional (BN) is considering heading into the next general election without its current allies in the federal government although it is also seeking data from the ground before making a decision, MalaysiaNow has learnt.
This would mean using its blue and white “scale” symbol, and ditching its partners in Perikatan Nasional (PN) as well as Muafakat Nasional, the charter signed with PAS last year.
The once powerful ruling coalition is conducting a survey on whether its brand is still relevant, and if it would be politically wise to use its logo in what will be its first general election since its historic defeat in 2018.
“The survey aims to gauge the popularity of Bersatu and PAS among Malaysians,” a source familiar with the opinion poll being conducted among BN communication workers nationwide told MalaysiaNow.
This comes amid deteriorating ties between Umno and PN following the ouster of Ahmad Faizal Azumu as Perak menteri besar.
Faizal, the deputy president of Bersatu, lost in a confidence motion brought by an Umno assemblyman last Friday on the back of differences between him and Umno over the appointments of key administrative officers, including his political secretary.
“The survey aims to gauge the popularity of Bersatu and PAS among Malaysians.”
PAS and Bersatu have since criticised the move to oust Faizal.
BN held federal power for six decades before its defeat in the 2018 polls. Four parties later exited the coalition: Gerakan and myPPP in the peninsula, and PBB and SUPP in East Malaysia.
Aside from its dominant partner Umno, the coalition is now left with MCA, MIC, and several smaller race-based components: Kimma, IPF and Makkal Sakti.
The BN survey comes in the wake of a separate survey by Umno to find out whether members of the Malay party are open to working with PKR and DAP in any future election.
Observers say it would come as no surprise if BN went to the polls alone.
Analyst Mahadee Ismail said the coalition felt it was being shortchanged at the federal level despite having more seats than the other parties in the PN-led government.
He said some BN leaders also felt that the same fate had befallen the coalition in Perak and Sabah, where the state governments are led by individuals outside of BN.
There has been talk of the 15th general election being held in the coming year, to put to rest allegations that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government, formed after the collapse of Pakatan Harapan in February, has no mandate.
Senior minister Mohamed Azmin Ali recently revealed that the government had planned to call for snap polls in September, but decided to call it off following a fierce rebound of Covid-19 infections nationwide.