Can Anwar impose on UMNO members to vote only for the party and nobody else?

WHETHER he is speaking on UMNO’s behalf or just intending “to educate” UMNO, veteran journalist and blogger Datuk A. Kadir Jasin reckons that it may be ‘out-of-line’ for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PMX) to equate “one vote for the enemy by UMNO members and ex-members” as an act of treason.

Even as the unity government needs UMNO for political stability, Kadir opined that the manner Anwar spoke gave the impression that he is the “UMNO president” or there is mistrust within UMNO even if PKR, too, has its fair share of internal squabbles.

To a question if PMX is feeling intensified pressure from Perikatan Nasional (PN), Kadir did not deny the assumption but prefers to think of “UMNO as a talisman to persuade the Malays to support the government party”.

Even as a netizen sounded to Kadir that Anwar has the right to remind UMNO members over their loyalty by virtue of the fact that he once rescued the biggest Malay party from suspension, Kadir is of the view that “probably Anwar has always had an agreement with (UMNO president Datuk Seri) Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to save each other”.

For context, Anwar who is also the PH chairman has reminded UMNO members and former party members that their act of giving their votes to the enemy at the state polls on Aug 12 will be construed as a big betrayal of the party.

“One vote from a former or UMNO member for the enemy (opposition party) is a great betrayal of the nation, party and religion. That is our understanding and belief,” claimed the PKR president at the Madani Unity Tour and the launch of the Kedah Unity Machinery in Yan (Kedah) on Saturday (July 15).

“For us, Islam is better dignified in this multi-racial country with our approach. As a multi-racial and multi-religious country, we cannot afford to see a crack within UMNO.”

To a question by a netizen why a person like him who is renowned for his close ties with former two-time premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is concerned about the internal affairs of both UMNO and Anwar when he should be better off “advising the former not to be a divisive force of the Malay race”, Kadir replied:

“This country does not only belong to UMNO and PKR, sir. PMX is both a democrat and freedom fighter. Of course, we common people can comment. But many of his supporters are bigoted.” – July 17, 2023

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