PETALING JAYA: Former Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib’s return to Umno can be seen as the party and Barisan Nasional’s (BN) strategy to wrest Selangor from Pakatan Harapan.
Political analyst Prof Dr Ahmad Atory Hussain opined that Muhammad, a former Umno vice-president can strengthen the party’s machinery to get back Selangor after it failed to do so twice.
According to him, Muhammad’s longtime experience and influence in politics might get old Umno members to return to the party.
“They (Umno) hope that Muhammad can use his experience to get his followers back into Umno. This is a strategy to wrest Selangor and BN believes that his return can also make his followers who went with him to join PKR to also return to Umno,” he said when contacted by Malaysia Outlook.
Muhammad who is better known as Mat Taib left Umno to join PAS in April 2013 and then joined PKR two years later.
In a special press conference at Menara Dato’ Onn yesterday, Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced Mat Taib’s return to Umno.
Commenting on the announcement of Mat Taib’s return which was made by Najib himself, Ahmad Atory said that in itself reflected the significance of the event.
“While Mat Taib appeared somewhat surprised by the warm welcome, psychologically he is already bound and committed to help Umno out.
“This is a way to ‘tie him up’ so he can not party hop and continue to cripple Pakatan Harapan to get back Selangor,” he said.
He however refused to make any speculation on the effect of Mat Taib’s return to Umno on Selangor which will be determined by the rakyat in the upcoming general election.
Meanwhile, Universiti Sains Malaysia Political Science lecturer lecturer Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian is also of the opinion that Mat Taib’s return to Umno will be able to influence old Umno members to return to the party.
According to him, whether the party will regain trust from the rakyat in Selangor is something too early to tell but Mat Taib’s return can become an impact to those who left the party.
“He (Mat Taib) is able to influence those who left the party to rejoin Umno,” he said.
Mat Taib who was also present during the special press conference yesterday explained that his decision to return to Umno was because he was worried looking at the disunity amongst the Malays. – MO