Umno urged to help form multiracial party to woo moderates

Umno supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam suggests converting Barisan Nasional into a new multiracial party.

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam has proposed that Umno help to form a new multiracial party to “capture” the support of the political moderates.

He said one way could be to convert Barisan Nasional (BN) into the proposed party.

Taking this step is key to ensure Umno will not continue to be perceived as too Islamic or too liberal, he said at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) today.

“Perhaps one day we could create a coalition that would include MCA, MIC, Umno, PAS and a multi-racial party which is led by a Malay leader but open to non-Malays to join as members.

“I think we must adopt an out-of-the-box approach,” he said.

Lokman was responding to comments by Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin and former Umno Youth deputy leader Khairul Azwan Harun who recently urged Umno to be more open and not be seen as too Islamic.

Khairul Azwan also said the cooperation Umno forged with PAS had failed to attract voter support, according to results from recent by-elections.

He called on Umno to return to its previous moderate platform that was successful in getting the support of the non-Malays.

Lokman said his proposed multiracial party, as part of an opposition coalition, could win back the support of non-Malays and youths.

He claimed Umno’s negative perception was the work of the DAP.

“DAP succeeded in painting Umno as a party that protected only the Malays, a racist party, when the fact is that Umno all these years has been taking good care of the non-Malays as well,” he said.