COMMENT | Anwar is Zahid’s biggest collateral damage
COMMENT | For those who think Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is what Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim needs for his coalition government’s survival, the sacking of Khairy Jamaluddin and suspension of Hishammuddin Hussein proves that Zahid may also destabilise the government and, in the worst case scenario, even cause its downfall.

The coalition government’s 148-seat two-thirds majority consists of three players: Pakatan Harapan’s 82 seats, BN (30), and the assorted Borneo parties’ 36 MP seats [GPS (23), GRS (6), Warisan (3), KDM (1), PBM (1) and independents (2)].

Technically, even if BN walks out, the coalition government still has 118 seats. But that would mean all three Malay-Muslim nationalist parties – PAS (43), Bersatu (31) and Umno’s (26) – are in the opposition, politically undermining the coalition government’s communal legitimacy.

Keeping Umno afloat is therefore important for Anwar’s government itself to stay afloat. It is fundamentally about wooing back the middle-ground Malay votes lost to PAS and Bersatu...

Unlocking Article
View Comments