“UMNO can win local gov’t elections if it reshuffles present leadership, cooperate with DAP”

THOSE who lambasted DAP’s proposal to reinstate local government elections starting with Kuala Lumpur has either turned a blind eye to history or are opposing it out of fear of losing the polls.

While PAS has opposed such move from a nationalistic stand-point, veteran journalist and blogger Datuk A. Kadir Jasin reckoned that UMNO has no choice but to reject such polls because its hope of winning any election is very slim.

“So, it is not surprising for grassroots UMNO leaders like Kedah information chief Shaiful Hazizy Zainol Abidin to oppose local government elections on grounds that DAP’s action could widen cracks within the unity government,” he penned in his latest Facebook post.

“He even described DAP’s proposal as stirring up a hornet’s nest’ because it was turned down by many parties, including UMNO.”

Kadir further foresees that there is no way that grassroots UMNO leaders would heed the advice of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that they should turun padang (meet the people) more frequently to explain issues that beset the party – especially the good relationship with DAP – as this will only worsen the situation.

“Starting with the defeat in the 2018 general election, UMNO’s hope of winning is getting slimmer in any election. Hence, it is not surprising that UMNO leaders who are not the deputy prime minister, ministers and deputy ministers are not comfortable co-existing with DAP,” opined the national journalism laureate.

Datuk A. Kadir Jasin

Nevertheless, Kadir contended that UMNO stands a chance to win the local government election on condition that “it reshuffles its leadership and cooperates with DAP”.

“Non-Malays and urban Malays may not be comfortable with the current UMNO leadership,” noted the former editor-in-chief of the mainstream New Straits Times.

“They want cleaner and more cosmopolitan leadership like Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani (currently the Plantation and Commodities Minister), Khairy Jamaluddin (former health minister) and Shahril Hamdan (former UMNO information chief).

“But the crux of the matter is whether rural Malays can accept DAP like how they used to accept MCA and MIC? Otherwise, UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) will find themselves in even bigger jeopardy.” – Dec 26, 2023

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