Johor Umno might reject state Unity Govt

POLITICAL analysts believe that Johor Umno is unlikely to give in to pressure from Pakatan Harapan (PH) component parties to consider forming a unity government in the state.

Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said Umno’s waning influence at the national level following its cooperation with PH could hinder the formation of such a “mixed marriage”.

“What happens on the national stage does not benefit Umno. In fact, it tarnishes Umno’s standing among the Malay voters,” he told FMT.

“Therefore, I do not expect Johor Umno to replicate the national scenario.”

Azmi was responding to a recent suggestion by a representative from Amanah’s Johor chapter for PH to be included in the state government leadership.

Zuhan Zain had said during Amanah’s national convention last weekend that PH should be part of the state government, even though Barisan Nasional (BN) dominates the 56-seat legislative assembly in Johor.

BN won 40 seats in the Johor election last year, securing a majority of more than two-thirds. PH won 12 seats, 10 of which went to DAP while the remaining two were won by PKR and Amanah.

Azmi said Johor Umno did not need to entertain Amanah’s request as menteri besar Onn Hafiz Ghazi had strong support, unlike the situation in other states such as Perak.

“Their position is formidable with 40 state assembly seats as opposed to PH’s 12 seats.

“I don’t see why Johor Umno should compromise on this matter merely to mirror what happened at the national level,” he said.

He also said that collaboration at both the national and state levels could be achieved through various channels without the need for a reshuffle of state leadership.

“Furthermore, Onn Hafiz has been appointed as Johor Umno chief, replacing Khaled Nordin, and showcasing the state government’s strength,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mazlan Ali of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia said a unity government in Johor could breed dissatisfaction among Umno grassroots members, as it would require accommodating PH despite the party’s significant victory.

“When there is significant cooperation, major reshuffling becomes inevitable, affecting positions at the lower levels and potentially causing dissatisfaction.

“Perhaps a Johor unity government could be considered after the (next) state election,” he said.