“UMNO shouldn’t blame DAP for their disastrous showing in Kemaman”

FOLLOWING remarks made by an UMNO leader about the party’s alliance with DAP in the unity government, a political analyst says DAP should not be blamed for UMNO’s disastrous showing in the recent Kemaman by-election.

Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Oh Ei Sun said UMNO’s decline had been evident since the 14th General Election (GE14) in May 2018 when the grand old party lost the election for the first time in 61 years.

“After the GE15 in November last year, UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) had few viable options apart from Pakatan Harapan (PH). If UMNO works together with Perikatan Nasional (PN), it will repeat its fate from 2020 to 2022,” Oh was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today (FMT). “With PH, UMNO at the very least, is treated fairly and not subject to oppression.”

Yesterday (Dec 5), UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Isham Jalil claimed that UMNO was still being rejected by the Malays because the party which should be advocating for Malays and Islam had deviated and is now willing to become a “lackey of DAP”.

Datuk Isham Jalil

“They are so eager to defend DAP to the point of becoming staunch supporters. Malays don’t like that,” Isham pointed out in a video posted on his Facebook. “The more you ‘lick’, the more you defend DAP; that’s when the Malays will reject us and we will lose in elections. We need to be aware of that.”

Oh proposed that UMNO leaders take proactive steps to re-vitalise the party in order to reclaim Malay support that has shifted to PN, particularly in favour of PAS.

“Perhaps a renewal of leadership, infused with professionalism, could pave the way forward,” he proposed.

UMNO suffered another loss in the election this year after Terengganu Menteri Besar (MB) Datuk Seri Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar won the Kemaman parliamentary by-election on Saturday (Dec 2) after beating BN’s candidate General (R) Tan Sri Raja Affandi Raja Noor by a 37,220-vote majority.

Samsuri who is also PAS vice-president was fielded in Kemaman following the Terengganu Election Court’s annulment of the victory of PAS candidate Che Alias Hamid in GE15 last year. – Dec 6, 2023


Main photo credit: UMNO

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