Malaysia is entering a new political age with an opposition party willing to work with Umno.
Umno ruled Malaysia for 62 years but this fairy tale ended in 2018. The Keadilan with its allies in the Pakatan Harapan coalition won the elections in May 2018.
They defeated the behemoth with the help of former Umno stalwart Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
However, the victory was short-lived and Umno, working together with a group of MPs and Ministers in the new government, seized power in 2020.
But, for Umno, this stunt has the taste of a poisoned chalice.
The Islamists from the PAS and PM Muhyiddin Yassin are now their visible opponents.
Muhyiddin ripped the Bersatu party from the Mahathir’s grip to join the PAS and Umno to form a new government.
That was more than a year ago and the Umno is now not comfortable working with Muhyiddin.
They made it clear in letters to the King of Malaysia in which they offered support for Anwar Ibrahim, the Keadilan leader.
THE NUMBERS GAME
The current Malaysian Parliament is in a mess with no party or coalition having a majority to rule.
It is academic now that Muhyiddin is hiding from the Parliament. The risk of losing his seat as PM is greater now than ever before.
And if he is still Prime Minister, it is because of the lack. of diligence from his opponents on both sides.
The Umno made it clear since October 2020 it is not in favour of a Muhyiddin-led government.
But instead of acting on their threats to pull out, they allowed Muhyiddin to prepare for his survival.
In the numbers game, Umno can play a vital part if it pulls out from the government.
Whether its ministers pull out or not from the government will not matter. Muhyiddin’s government will fall.
For this reason, we believe many of the rebel ministers against their party will leave Muhyiddin’s government if Umno pulls out.
What is there to sit as a minister in a government that is no more?
COALITION WITH KEADILAN?
If Umno were to pull out of the Perikatan Nasional regime, it will throw the government in jeopardy. But to regain power, it will either need to force for fresh polls or it will have to ally with other parties.
Keadilan leader Anwar Ibrahim says he is in early talks with Umno on a possible alliance.
But this announcement did not go down well with the party and with the Pakatan.
The DAP and the Amanah parties made known their astonishment Anwar is talking to Umno.
Umno is the enemy number one of the Pakatan members. The party of Najib Razak, the fallen PM in 2018, bullied the Pakatan during its reign.
Now, Anwar who suffered at their hands is in talks with them. Secret talks indeed because many party supporters and members do not know the details of these talks.
The PH also is unaware of the details. They are naturally shocked. But since they believe in Anwar and they might follow him where he leads them, they may not be against such an idea.
The essential element for the PH is to get rid of the government made of ‘betrayers’.
By all means, betrayers are more dangerous than Najib Razak, a convicted ex-PM in a 1MDB related case.
The scandal surrounding the 1Malaysia Development Berhad caused the collapse of the Najib government.
NAJIB THE SAVIOUR?
Najib and his colleagues are not against the idea of working with Anwar to destroy the regime of betrayers.
But Najib is not the party leader and Umno’s leader Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is facing jail if he loses the cases against him.
Things do not look for both Najib and Zahid and the only way they could save their skin is through a deal with the Keadilan.
This will make Najib the saviour of the Umno. Saving the party from Muhyiddin’s attempts to take control of the party.
The PM did not stop short of attempting the overthrow of Zahid as Umno leader. This is what Umno grassroots and leaders are saying.
This is still in the works, sources say, and it is putting a severe strain on the relations between the ruling parties.
The Party Islam Se-Malaysia is not interested in defending Zahid or Najib.
Thus, Umno members are calling the PAS with all sorts of names. The PAS not defending the people who helped them in the 2018 elections is an affront for the Umno leaders.
The Umno now has no friends in the government. Their own ministers are talking against the party leadership.
They are, according to various editorials in local papers and portals, fermenting leadership change in Umno.
Nevertheless, the alliance talks between Umno and Keadilan is not that easy.
The parties are having trouble getting all their members on board.
For some Umno members, the Keadilan is the party that caused Umno to lose support gradually in Malaysia.
But they have little choices if they want to save the party from Muhyiddin’s grip. Muhyiddin is a bigger betrayer of the party for many.
He was kicked out as deputy PM by Najin Razak in 2015 and he later joined ex-PM Mahathir Mohamad to form the Bersatu party.
They went in alliance with the PH to defeat the Umno with its Barisan Nasional coalition.
After betraying the Umno say analysts, Muhyiddin betrayed Mahathir who brought him into Bersatu.
But an alliance with Keadilan and the PH will be an uneasy affair. The Umno is not a reformist party. The PH parties are pro-reform.
The leaders may clash on many issues and certainly on the running of the government.
This was the problem the PH faced. There were divisions among the PH members on how the government should run the country.
The internal and external pressure led to the collapse of the Mahathir regime.
The same scenario is likely if the Keadilan and the Umno were to ally to defeat the PN.
This is what is worrying many among the Keadilan and PH supporters.
They are urging the party leadership not to make the same mistakes that led to the 2020 collapse.