Seminar: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia: A Game Changer or a Non-Starter?
About the Seminar
As the newest political party in Malaysia, Bersatu has been making waves in the increasingly volatile local political scene. Seen as a splinter group from UMNO by some, and as a legitimate challenger to UMNO’s dominance by others, Bersatu is having an impact on how the Rakyat – especially Malays – see the future of the country. While the opposition coalition has won the popular vote, it is still not enough to form a new government under Malaysia’s first-past-the-post parliamentary system. Hence, Bersatu is a game-changer that could galvanise support from Malays who would otherwise be staunch supporters of UMNO – particularly in rural areas long-known to be UMNO strongholds.
With this as a context, this seminar aims to address these questions: Will Pakatan Harapan with Bersatu as a new member succeed in winning the 14th General Elections? How will PAS factor in the elections and the way people choose to vote? Will Barisan Nasional be able to win if there were three-cornered fights? Have the Rakyat had enough of kleptocracy and its impact on the cost of living, or are they feeling safe in their comfort zones and unable to make tough decisions? Is the ground fertile for change ushering the dawn of a new era for Malaysia post-GE14?
About the Speaker
Mukhriz Mahathir is a Malaysian politician and Deputy President of Parti Pribumi Bersatu, a party he founded along with former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed, former Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, and many more former UMNO members.
Up until early 2016, Mukhriz was a member of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) in Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. Following the 13th General Election, he was State Assemblyman for the seat of Ayer Hitam and Chief Minister of the country’s northern state of Kedah, as well as the state UMNO Liaison Chairman and member of the party’s Supreme Council. In January 2016, UMNO Kedah leaders led by Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah declared the loss of confidence towards Mukhriz due to what they claimed as “his inability to maintain a united party leadership”. The move is widely believed to have been orchestrated by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Mukhriz Mahathir studied Business Administration at Sophia University, Tokyo. He later received a Bachelor’s degree in marketing after graduating from Boston University, Massachusetts in 1989. He has held various posts in several business firms, including Opcom Holdings Berhad, Bioven Sdn Bhd and Reliance Pacific Berhad, and has also been active in NGOs such as MRSM Alumni (ANSARA), Malaysian Franchise Association, Peace Malaysia as well as Perdana Global Peace Foundation.