UMNO president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has acknowledged that Barisan Nasional (BN) is currently facing significant rejection from the public and that the party needs to move more aggressively towards regaining the people’s trust.
Zahid, who is also BN chairman, pointed out that regaining people’s trust is not impossible, considering that such a situation is considered normal in politics.
“In the challenges we are facing now, when UMNO is hit by Malays’ rejection, UMNO, MIC, MCA and PBRS (Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah) must rise again and gather the support of the people,” Zahid was reported as saying by Berita Harian at the groundbreaking ceremony for MIC’s brand-new party headquarters today (Aug 21).
Also present were MIC President, Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran and his deputy, Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.
“This rejection puts the country in a bad situation. The loss of support for BN during the 15th general election (GE15) and the six state elections can be regained,” Zahid added.
Commenting further, Zahid said the BN coalition cannot have an agenda to marginalise each other in an effort to rebuild the people’s support for BN.
“It is better to not have an agenda to marginalise each other. We need the help of UMNO, MIC, MCA, and PBRS, as well as our ‘Friends of BN’ friends.
“History is full of twists and turns. We are dealing with a considerably downward rejection (BN’s position). However, what is at the bottom does not always remain at the bottom if we make efforts to raise it,” he explained.
Zahid also stated that cooperation with Pakatan Harapan (PH) is regarded as the most effective method to rebuild the coalition’s image, as well as demanding a high degree of commitment from all component parties.
“I am confident that BN will rise again after this challenge and overcome it. Our network (cooperation) in PH is the best.
“Our (BN) cooperation with PH has yet to established confidence, but it has only been nine months for BN and our friends in PH to rebuild support.
“Commitment is not only required from the top leadership; on all levels regardless national, state, Parliament and state legislative assemblies, it is necessary that we restructure and return (the people’s confidence for the party),” the Bagan Datuk MP stated.
The PH-BN unity coalition managed to retain Negri Sembilan, Selangor, and Penang at the polls, though Perikatan Nasional (PN) made some inroads in these states.
PN had won 146 seats out of 246 contested, including making a clean sweep of Terengganu’s 32 state assembly seats and was close to doing the same in Kedah and Kelantan in the Aug 12 six state polls.
There had been calls for Zahid to resign following UMNO’s abysmal performance at the six state elections held on Aug 12, where the grand old party won a paltry 19 out of 108 seats it had contested in.
Under Zahid’s leadership, UMNO also recorded its worst general election performance, acquiring only 26 parliamentary seats in the 15th general election (GE15) last November, a far cry from UMNO’s golden days in the 11th general election (GE11) in 2004, when it won 109 parliamentary seats. – Aug 21, 2023
Main pic credit: Facebook/Zahid Hamidi