PETALING JAYA: Analysts have predicted that some politicians who defected from Umno in the last four years will return to it as the next general election (GE15) gets closer.
They said the recent return of Sinduman assemblyman Yusof Yacob to the party was an indication of what was coming.
Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid of Universiti Sains Malaysia said most of the returnees would be from Bersatu and Warisan which, he alleged, were formed to accommodate those who wanted to “jump on the anti-Umno bandwagon”.
He said these parties lacked a clear long-term vision and were still struggling to garner support from the grassroots.
Yusof left Umno to join Warisan in the run-up to GE14. He was Warisan’s information chief, but he quit that party last October to become an independent assemblyman supporting Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Sabah’s ruling coalition.
Fauzi said the yearning for stability after the pandemic would push aside any reservation people might have about voting for an Umno-led Barisan Nasional government.
“The returning MPs are not so naive that they are unable to gauge where the people’s sentiments lie,” he said, adding that the Melaka and Johor election results were early indicators of what would likely transpire at the federal level.
BN swept 21 of the 28 constituencies in the Melaka state election and won 40 seats in the 56-seat assembly in the Johor election.
“Their moves will not be directly caused by the state elections, but these elections will have put to rest any doubt they may have had about rejoining Umno,” Fauzi said.
Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya said Umno’s recent victories had influenced politicians to defect to Umno.
He also said it was not surprising that politicians from other parties in Sabah had chosen Umno because it had long been established in that state.
Commenting on Yusof’s decision to rejoin Umno, he said Warisan’s decision to spread its wings to Peninsular Malaysia had made it lose focus in Sabah.