After burning bridges with unity govt, pundits see bleak future in Muar for both Syed Saddiq and Muda

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — After bringing the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) out of the federal government coalition, political analysts polled by Malay Mail suggested that Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman may not last in his Muar parliamentary seat.

While Syed Saddiq and Johor assemblyman Amira Aisya Abdul Aziz’s position are still safe for now, they said the party risks fading away in the southern state if it carries on alone as a political third force.

“It is true that they won the seats with a lot of help from PH supporters, but there is no law that could force them to leave their seats unless there is morale consciousness to vacate the seats,” Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research (NASR) senior fellow Azmi Hassan told Malay Mail when contacted.

He added that Syed Saddiq or Amira would have known where their strength lies, and judging by the last state election, they should know that they cannot go solo.

“They need a bigger party to help them. If Muda wants to remain solo, it does not look good as they are neither here nor there.

“Not here meaning with PH, not there meaning with Perikatan Nasional (PN) although in Parliament and State Legislative Assembly they stand with PN, but with only one MP and one assemblyman, it is not such a force.

“So the future looks bleak for Muda as they are neither here nor there,” he said.

On September 10, Syed Saddiq announced that his party will now be aligned with the Opposition bloc, calling itself the “third force”.

This was a protest against the unity government over the dropping of 47 charges against Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in a trial involving alleged corruption.

Syed Saddiq reportedly claimed the dropping of the trial is a start to the normalising of corruption adding that Muda will not tolerate the unprincipled move.

University of Malaya political analyst Mohammad Tawfik Yaakub also agreed with Azmi, saying that Muar is not safe if Syed Saddiq does not join forces with a political coalition.

He pointed out that in the 15th general election (GE15), the Muar parliamentary seat was goodwill from PH which did not contest, to give way to Muda.

“Although they won’t rush into joining any political coalition now, I think when the 16th general election approaches they will join a political coalition that has similar principles and struggles as Muda,” Tawfiq said.

However, he said Syed Saddiq will face similar difficulties with other Opposition MPs now — among others not receiving an allocation for their constituents.

“If he continues to contest using the Muda ticket, without any collaboration with any political coalitions, they will drown and disappear like all the other parties like Putra and S46,” he added, referring to pro-Malay party Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia and the now-defunct Semangat 46.

Weighing in, Syaza Shukri of International Islamic University Malaysia said Muar is not safe for Syed Saddiq, as he won the seat by a slim majority in the 2022 general election,

“Muar has always been a marginal seat. Now, without the backing of PH his future in Muar does not appear good at all,” Syaza said when contacted.

In 2018, he secured the Muar parliamentary seat with a 6,953 majority compared to the GE15 where he only managed a 1,345 majority. In both general elections, he faced a three-cornered contest.

The assistant professor of political science added that Syed Saddiq’s political future will be quite challenging without a strong political ally.

“We can agree that PSM is not that strong politically. Without a strong ally, Muda needs to work hard on its own merit. It will be a long journey and we’re not sure how it will turn out,” she said, referring to the Socialist Party of Malaysia.

In the recently concluded six-state elections, Muda had teamed up with PSM citing the similarities in their struggles.

Muda performed poorly in the state election losing their deposits in all 19 state seats they contested.