KUALA LUMPUR: The move by Tan Sri Muhammad Taib to rejoin Umno adds value to the backbone of Barisan Nasional.
Universiti Sains Malaysia political analyst Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said the return of Muhammad who had left Umno previously to join Pas and then to PKR would also play an impact to Selangor’s political arena.
“He has an impact, as he used to be a key figure in Selangor being their Menteri Besar and this would definitely be a value add for Umno.
“He is a big personality and this would give Umno the moral support and the necessary edge.
“On if his return would be able to gain Selangor back to Umno is still early to be analysed,” Dr Sivamurugan told the New Straits Times.
He said the opposition had failed to maintain those who had joined their party after leaving Umno and this was a huge loss to them.
“When he joined Pas, and then moved to PKR he was never given any position. They could have used him as a spokesperson due to his popularity, but they had blatantly let him go.
“Now there would be questions raised on if political parties have deviated from their political ideologies to having political personalities. However, his comeback would be a good addition to the Umno since he had contributed a lot then,” he said.
Sivamurugan adds that switching parties is very much normal in Malaysian politics.
Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng said the former party vice-president’s return to Umno’s fold was not surprising.
“Most of the Malay based parties, BN or Opposition, have their roots from Umno.”
He adds that Muhammad’s return would give an edge for Umno as the opposition had not been able to upgrade themselves since the 13th General Election, he said.
“Umno might be facing tough challenges in urban seats, but they will be able to do better in Malay heart land for majority seats.
Meanwhile, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) senior lecturer in international politics and Asean relations Dr Muhammad Fuad Othman commented that the former Selangor Mentri Besar’s return and others making similar move was due to a weak and ineffective Opposition.
"They realised that the Opposition do not walk the talk and are unable to get things done.
"They are also disappointed that they are unable to contribute to the people while with the Opposition," he said.
He added that they went back to Umno as it had proven itself to be a stable and a well established party with good track record.
Dr Muhammad added that the move by Muhammad was not surprising as such moves are common especially when election is around the corner.
He noted that Muhammad would hope to be in a position to serve the rakyat and Umno would be his best platform to do so.
Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the comeback of Muhammad at a special press conference today.
Muhammad held key posts during his time in Umno, including stints as vice-president from 2000 to 2003 and as information chief from 2008 to 2009.