The Umno No 2 says infighting could sabotage BN's bid to recapture the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled state
SELAYANG: Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin today hinted that widespread infighting in Selangor could sabotage the party’s aim to recapture the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled state in the upcoming polls.
The deputy prime minister claimed scandals in the country’s most industrialised state meant it is ripe for the taking, but the ruling coalition appears to be slow to exploit as factionalism continues to plague its Selangor chapter.
“I believe the situation is in our favour that we can convince voters that the Pakatan leadership is not serving its people well,” he said before some 800 Umno members here, pointing to some of the state’s problems like the water fiasco and sand mining scandals
“But are we ready (to recapture Selangor)?” he asked in an apparent reference to the continued split within its Selangor ranks.
Umno and its allies in Barisan Nasional will soon face one of its toughest elections yet but as polls near, both Muhyiddin and his president Najib Tun Razak have repeatedly hinted at widespread internal divisions.
It is often mentioned in speeches calling for members not to sabotage candidates and reminded them that the 13th general election will be Umno’s survival battle as opposition influence continues to rise.
Cracks in the ruling party was said to be one of the key reasons behind its record losses in the 2008 elections where BN lost its parliamentary supermajority and five states.
Muhyiddin said today the same problem may hurt Umno’s chances in the polls and despite pledges to stop and unite as polls near, signs of divisions remain a problem.
“When I meet division chiefs and deputies, they say all is well and even shook hands with each other during Hari Raya. But I give them just one hour, and after five minutes they explode,” he said.
The Umno No2 then cited the lost of the Selayang seat as an example. BN won two out of three state seats here but lost the federal seat. The party’s Selayang chapter later admitted that this was caused by sabotage.
Muhyiddin, however, said he and Najib have worked hard to meet and rectify problematic divisions and urged members to trust their leadership on the candidacy.
Umno has yet to finalise its candidates list for the polls which could be linked to factionalism. Party sources told FMT that this was the only reason behind Najib’s move to delay polls. He was rumoured to have eyed for an earlier date.