Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) will not threaten Barisan Nasional as it depended on remaining local support for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, according BMI Research.
The Fitch Group research house added that aside from the two former Umno leaders, PPBM has not secured any serious defections from Umno that the party claims to rival.
“Furthermore, PPBM only appears to have two main powerbases in Pagor and Kedah, with these powerbases largely deriving from both Mahathir and Muhyiddin’s personal popularities in their traditional strongholds.
“While there have been a number of relatively high-level defections from Umno to PPBM, the latter still lacks Umno’s formidable party machinery, and we believe that Mahathir and Muhyiddin will continue to face difficulties in growing the party without the support of strong grassroots,” BMI research said in a statement today.
The report added that the crowded and fractured nature of Malaysia’s opposition will also hamper their efforts remove BN from Putrajaya as many of the five opposition parties share ideologies and have made plans to contest in the same seats as well.
PPBM claimed that it is an alternative to Umno, but the party has been reduced to seeking the blessings of jailed opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to cooperate with his PKR and the larger Pakatan Harapan.
While Dr Mahathir’s party had been expected to leech away support from Umno, it now appears the party will instead be in competition with existing opposition parties.
“Instead, we expect PPBM to struggle to differentiate itself from the other Malay-dominant opposition parties such as Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
“With the opposition remaining fragmented and the main opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan (PH), considerably weaker than its predecessor Pakatan Rakyat (PR), the entrance of PPBM into Malaysia’s crowded opposition scene is unlikely to strengthen the opposition,” the report read.
Specifically, Pribumi will face considerable competition from Amanah and PKR with both being mostly-Malay party who are open to working with “secular” parties like DAP, an almost identical ideology to that of Pribumi.
Additionally, the opposition also does not have a leader capable of uniting all the different parties ever since Anwar was imprisoned back in February 2015.
“Although PPBM’s charismatic leader Mahathir could ostensibly unite the coalition, his efforts are likely to be thwarted by DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang, with both men having a long history of mutual distrust.
“In addition, despite the apparent sign of goodwill on PPBM’s part towards Anwar, a history of animosity between Anwar and Mahathir means that cooperation between PPBM and PKR will be difficult.
DAP, PKR and PAS splinter party Amanah formed an informal alliance called Pakatan Harapan last year, following the breakup of the previous Pakatan Rakyat pact formed following the federal Opposition parties’ landmark wins in Election 2008.
PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali had earlier this year proposed a “grand coalition” of other Opposition parties to go head-to-head with the BN in the next national polls after former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin left Umno and set up Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
Nothing concrete has emerged to date though the opposition parties all maintain they are open to cooperation with each other.
PPBM’s membership drive also began in tepid fashion on Wednesday, when it distributed around 9,000 application forms or just a sliver of the 3.5 million members that Umno has on paper.
The Malay Mail Online