Mahathir's offer to Zahid can achieve two goals

29 Oct 2018 / 20:33 H.

TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad's proposal to Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to dissolve Umno and join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), as claimed by the latter, is described by political analysts as "killing two birds with one stone".
The intention is to hasten the split and disintegration of Umno while speeding up the strengthening of PPBM and increasing the party's bargaining power with other component parties in Pakatan Harapan (PH).
However, one of the analysts said given the huge assets the party has, including a well-structured organisational network, Umno will not go bust despite the drastic change in political landscape.
Political commentator Tang Ah Chai told China Press in an interview published today that "it is a move to kill two birds with one stone".
Mahathir, who is prime minister as well as PPBM chairman, hopes to speed up Umno's disintegration while at the same time strengthening PPBM.
He opined that Mahathir's proposal will create doubts among Umno leaders, especially those who are in two minds and unsure about the party's future.
Some of them might take the opportunity to jump ship, thus weakening the party, he said.
Mahathir's olive branch to Umno leaders will definitely be tempting for those who have been contemplating leaving the party, he said, adding that the PPBM chief is making no attempt to hide his intention to strengthen the party for greater bargaining power within PH.
Meanwhile, political analyst Phoon Wing Keong said disbanding Umno is not something that can happen overnight given its huge assets and complete organisational structure.
He said not all Umno leaders want to join PPBM and not everyone who wants to jump ship is going to be accepted by PPBM.
Of course there will be those who want to cross over to PPBM but at this stage, there will still be many Umno leaders who want to stay put, he said.

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