AN academic says that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim must not try to bolster his position as premier by using shortcuts.
Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid told FMT that Anwar needs to implement good policies, improve the economy and boost the people’s welfare in order to maintain his premiership.
“If the polls consistently show that the Government enjoys support from the majority of the rakyat, Anwar is in good stead to remain as prime minister until 2027,” the news portal quoted him as saying.
Fauzi also discussed whether the outcome of Monday’s (Dec 20) vote of confidence in Anwar’s leadership in the Dewan Rakyat had solidified the prime minister’s position.
The Opposition did not call for a bloc vote and Anwar won through a voice vote.
He previously said he enjoyed the support of 148 MPs from Pakatan Harapan (PH), Barisan Nasional (BN), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and smaller parties and independents.
According to Fauzi, UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is the biggest threat to Anwar’s position, as a faction of UMNO does not support the party’s president.
Fauzi added that if this faction wins the party’s upcoming elections and replaces Zahid as president, they could reinstate the “No Anwar, No DAP” principle.
Furthermore, prior to the recent general election, the party adopted the principle in opposition to cooperating with Anwar and the PH component DAP.
Fauzi pointed out that if UMNO as a whole withdrew from the Government, there’s nothing Anwar could do.
“UMNO’s, and by extension BN’s, withdrawal might prompt similar retractions of support from GRS and GPS.”
Meanwhile, Akademi Nusantara analyst Azmi Hassan agreed that the biggest threat to the prime minister’s position came from UMNO.
Anwar could consolidate his position by making UMNO stronger under Zahid ahead of the party’s elections, which must be held within six months after the conclusion of the general election, according to Azmi.
“If Zahid’s standing was strengthened, he could remain UMNO president after the party elections and ensure UMNO’s continued support for Anwar’s government,” opined Azmi. – Dec 21, 2022
Main photo credit: Prime Minister’s Office