SEVERAL UMNO leaders have stepped forward to back Supreme Council member Isham Jalil’s call for the party leadership to stop asking its grassroots to vote for DAP in the forthcoming state polls.
Concurring with Isham, UMNO Youth permanent chairman Wan Agyl Wan Hassan said Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan was “way out of line” when he urged party members to support DAP candidates.
Speaking to FMT, he further pointed out that there were many past wounds that had yet to heal, adding that DAP and UMNO had been political opponents for a long time.
“Asking the UMNO grassroots to vote for DAP candidates is unacceptable to the grassroots. While the top management of the party did decide that we work with Pakatan Harapan (PH), that should be for the sake of the country. But it doesn’t mean UMNO has to sacrifice its principles,” Wan Agyl argued.
“Why can’t Ahmad ask us to vote for candidates from the unity government instead? It’s all about the messaging. Who asked him to tell us to vote for DAP?”
An anonymous UMNO Supreme Council noted that Isham had a point as there was a rift in UMNO between its top leadership and the grassroots on top of the party’s many existing factions.
“The leadership is making statements which are not pleasing to our grassroots and it cannot go on any longer like this,” he told the news portal.
“We have to get on the same page and stick to our principles because, if we don’t, by the next election, Umno’s situation will get even worse.”
Meanwhile, an UMNO division leader, speaking on conditions of anonymity, indicated that the UMNO grassroots only supported the formation of the unity government with PH because it was what the Yang di-Pertuan Agong desired.
“However, many members have yet to accept the idea of working together in the upcoming state elections,” he stated, adding that if other party leaders make statements like Ahmad’s, UMNO will lose even more members.
“You have to understand that people in the party are divided into two camps, so if the top leadership makes statements like these, we would have more members jumping to the ‘anti-Zahid’ camp,” he said, referring to party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. – May 26, 2023
Main pic credit: The Star