Malaysia — A blog has made the wild claim that Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad plans to rejoin Umno, the party he defeated in elections last year, because he realises that he cannot eliminate the opposition party.
The blog, Financetwitter, states the Barisan Nasional trouncing of Dr Mahathir’s party, Bersatu, in the by-election in Tanjong Piai, Johor, last month had got him to rethink his strategy to unite the Malays in one strong party.
Dr Mahathir has said that he wants to see the creation of a powerful Malay party to replace Umno.
Umno’s shock defeat, however, resulted in Mr Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR becoming the biggest party in the country. PKR is not a Malay-based party but a multi-racial political organisation.
Umno has remained the biggest Malay party in the country although it lost power to the Pakatan Harapan headed by Dr Mahathir.
The blog, however, claims that Dr Mahathir’s endgame is to rejoin Umno if and when his unforgivable enemy, Najib Razak, is sent to prison.
Najib, the former Prime Minister, is facing corruption, money-laundering and abuse of power charges but is still a free man and is campaigning against the government on a daily basis.
“From the beginning, his mission was to topple Najib. Now that his protege-turned-nemesis faces corruption charges, there is no compelling reason for Mahathir to destroy Umno… After all, if he can’t beat Umno, then it’s wise to rejoin Umno,” claims the blog.
It says that, if Najib is jailed, the rest of the Umno MPs will fall in line.
This will help Dr Mahathir create a mega-Malay party but the twist in the plot is that Dr Mahathir will jump back to Umno. It says the PM has changed his mind about beefing up Bersatu after the Johor by-election defeat in which his party failed to garner Malay support.
The opposition Barisan Nasional candidate beat the Bersatu candidate by a whopping 15,000 votes.
The blog says that, assuming a handful of Umno MPs are rejected by Dr Mahathir, a merger of Bersatu and Umno could create the biggest Malay political party with MPs numbering close to 60.
It adds that, if Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali could bring 15 MPs from Mr Anwar’s party, the PKR, that number will balloon to 75 MPs.
Mr Azmin, who is the PKR’s deputy leader, has been at loggerheads with Mr Anwar over the political transition plan in Malaysia. He prefers Dr Mahathir to remain Prime Minister until 2023.
The Pakatan agreed that Dr Mahathir should vacate power in two years, that is May 2020. Dr Mahathir has, however, said that he may quit after November 2020.