The move to place Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) as the head of Pakatan Harapan is part of a plan to secure Malay support in the next general election, according to coalition insiders.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, those familiar with the matter said the idea of Bersatu triggering a "Malay tsunami" has divided the parties, with some believing this is the key to Harapan's victory over the Umno-led ruling government in the next polls.
Malaysiakini understands that there are proponents of this idea in all Harapan component parties.
Political pundit Ahmad Atory Hussain agreed that it is possible for Bersatu to generate a "Malay tsunami" in favour of Harapan.
"If (Bersatu chairperson) Dr Mahathir Mohamad is to lead Harapan, the Malays would feel more confident," he told Malaysiakini.