KUALA LUMPUR,. Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed’s experience as an MP and minister may help PPBM but it will do little to dent PAS’ influence in Kelantan, analysts believe.
Senior Fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, Oh Ei Sun told Malay Mail that it is unrealistic to think that Pakatan Harapan could take over the state, given PAS’ influence there.
“PAS has an ironclad hold on Kelantan, so it’s unrealistic in trying to change that.
“With Tok Pa having left, Umno Kelantan is now left with the unpredictable Ku Li and the hapless Annuar Musa, and therefore not as influential as before,” he said referring to Mustapa, Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, and Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
Another analyst, Azmi Hassan said that Mustapa’s entry in PPBM will benefit the young party as they lacked experienced leaders.
But like Oh, Azmi said that the Mustapa factor would not have any ripple effect in Kelantan.
“I don’t see any leverage for Bersatu in Kelantan. But in terms of national politics Tok Pa in Bersatu is good for the party,” he said.
Mustapa submitted his membership application form to Dr Mahathir at an event in Petaling Jaya on Friday, after quitting Umno on September 18.
Kelantan political analyst Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Hassan said he felt people of the state might interpret Mustapa’s move as one of an opportunist, and that this will not do his image any good.
“People might interpret Tok Pa as not being a real politician but an opportunist, as real politicians would stick to the belief, faith and ideology of their party.
“He was supporting Datuk Seri Najib Razak all the way leading up to the recent elections, but now after Barisan Nasional lost, he decides to jump ship,” he told Malay Mail.
“Maybe Mahathir or Tun Daim Zainuddin persuaded him to join PPBM, on the grounds that the party wants a good person like him.
“Someone like him, whose outside image is not one of a corrupt leader,” he said.
Nik Abdul Aziz added Mustapa’s move to PPBM would not be well-received by the people of Kelantan.
“He will be less popular now, not as popular as he was when he was in Umno.
“The majority of people in Kelantan, the thinking man, will see his move as a negative one,” he added.