KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26, 2016:
The impending ouster of Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir may see his father move more aggressively against the Barisan Nasional (BN)-led state and federal governments, a political analyst opined.
Associate Professor Dr Nidzam Sulaiman of University Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Institute of Ethnic Studies (Kita), said the highly-respected former Prime Minister still retained an influential position among voters in the state who have long idolised his leadership.
“He (Dr Mahathir) will more or less be able to attract or dispel the support of the voters towards BN.
“As we know, PAS has made a strong presence in the state after wrestling it from BN in the previous term.
“So the slim-majority areas are in a precarious situation (for BN), and although there is no guarantee that this would happen, there is a possibility that the state could once again fall into opposition hands,” he told The Rakyat Post when contacted today.
Dr Nidzam was asked about the implications of removing Mukhriz from the post by the party’s top brass in the state.
He said Mukhriz’s huge influence over the state could be seen by the big turnout of supporters who participated in a relatively large gathering to back the embattled leader barely hours after a Press conference was held to announce the loss of confidence in his leadership among BN parliamentarians and assemblymen.
Yesterday, Dr Mahathir was reported as saying that the members of the group calling for the ouster of Mukhriz, were “not good people”, claiming the group was made up of those with bad reputations.
Dr Nidzam said the removal of Mukhriz could be seen as a slap to Dr Mahathir who possibly had aspirations to prolong his legacy of leadership through his son.
“Although there were weaknesses in Mukhriz’s leadership, the matter was not made into an issue.
“If we take the incident of Pak Lah (Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi), Dr Mahathir had openly criticised the latter’s leadership until he was eventually ousted, but this is not the case with Mukhriz.
“Perhaps this current action is a way of penalising Tun Mahathir,” he further claimed.