Despite Tajuddin’s revelation of Umno MPs backing Anwar, pundits say issue unlikely to divide Pakatan


Pasir Salak MP, Datuk Seri Tajuddin Rahman speaks during press conference in Petaling Jaya on June 27, 2022. — Malay Mail photo

KUALA LUMPUR (July 3): Pakatan Harapan (PH) should remain unaffected despite the commotion among component parties following Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman’s revelation that Umno MPs had signed statutory declarations (SD) backing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister

Several political analysts polled by Malay Mail expressed their confidence that PH parties will still focus on their common enemy Barisan Nasional (BN), with Azmi Hassan saying the declaration is an open secret and has now only merely been corroborated by someone in Umno.

“I don’t think that Tajuddin’s tell-all event will affect much of the relationship between PKR and PH since we all knew all along that Anwar when he said he has formidable numbers [support to become PM]meaning there are few Umno lawmakers that support Anwar.

“We knew that part, it’s just something that cannot be proven. And that Tajuddin tell-all was not exactly new and it would not affect the relationship between DAP and PKR in this case,” the Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research senior fellow said.

Echoing Azmi, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s political analyst Kartini Aboo Talib said DAP and PKR still need each other to contest against their main nemesis BN as no party is strong enough to go solo in the upcoming general election.

“Hence, in politics, there is no permanent enemy or friend. I think DAP may tolerate accepting and simply close their eyes, knowing that PKR was dealing with Umno for the sake of SD,” she said.

Also commenting on the matter, University of Malaya sociopolitical analyst Awang Azman Pawi said that as the chairman of PH, Anwar has the prerogative to hold discussions with anyone to ensure the coalition will be back helming the country.

“As the chairman of PH, Anwar received a mandate from all components of PH to negotiate with any other party. It is part of the political negotiations that are partly exposed to the public and partly is a PH secret,” he told Malay Mail.

When asked how the revelation will affect the “big tent” strategy, Azmi said that Anwar will still be the main man to lead PH and possibly make the coalition stay as the dominant component if it decides to cooperate with other Opposition parties.

He said that the revelation was considered trivial and not significant enough to block any effort of initiating the “big tent” approach.

Last month, Tajuddin claimed that at least 15 Umno lawmakers had signed SDs backing Anwar to become the prime minister.

He alleged that the list of the 15 MPs who had signed the SDs at Tamu Hotel in Kampung Baru here included Zahid, Pekan MP Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

Nazri has since admitted to signing the SD, saying he did it to “save Umno”.

Tajuddin’s revelations came days after it emerged that he had been sacked as an Umno supreme council member on June 24. – Malay Mail