COMMENT | Muhyiddin is not popular enough

James Chai

Modified 15 Sep 2020, 12:49 am

COMMENT | One thing is for sure, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is more popular than his predecessor, Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Apart from the first three months after the 14th general election, Muhyiddin’s popularity rating at 69 percent was higher than Mahathir’s, which plummeted to 46 percent in February 2019.

This should give some confidence to Muhyiddin, who may still feel inadequate in surpassing his master.

But that is not what truly matters. The only question that concerns Muhyiddin is whether he has enough bargaining power with Umno and PAS at the seat negotiation table. Everything else is secondary.

Like Mahathir’s term as prime minister, Muhyiddin’s main preoccupation is how to increase the number of seats under his command. Mahathir started the tradition that the prime minister could come from the smallest party in a coalition. When Mahathir assumed prime ministership in May 2018, his party only had 13 seats.

The reasoning behind this odd arrangement was that Pakatan Harapan was honouring an agreement...

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