Umno shouldn’t rely on sympathy, says youth chief

Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki says Umno’s strength lies with its grassroots. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: There is no need for Umno to rely on sympathy in its efforts to strengthen the party, its Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said.

“Umno’s strength lies in its grassroots and the party has to strengthen itself from within,” the former deputy minister said after attending the party’s Supreme Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

He said this when asked to comment on whether the collaboration with PAS, its traditional rivals, was raised at today’s meeting.

On Sept 16, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said the party would not rush to form a political alliance with Umno.

The former Terengganu menteri besar said any form of cooperation with Umno was in the interest of Islam and not out of desperation.

Ties between Umno and PAS began thawing last year, with leaders from both parties sharing the same stage on several occasions. Their relationship further strengthened after the May 9 polls, most notably in the Sungai Kandis and Seri Setia by-elections where they made way for each other to contest and supported each other’s candidates.

Earlier this month, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and other leaders from the party and Barisan Nasional showed up at a PAS ceramah in a historic first. They also attended PAS’ annual general meeting.

Zahid said the cooperation between PAS and Umno was “not just rhetoric” but a surefire way to challenge PH in future elections. He also said the two parties would be working closely together in the future.

On a separate matter, Asyraf also said the meeting today discussed the exit of several Umno leaders. Earlier this week, Supreme Council member Mustapa Mohamed and Anifah Aman quit Umno.

Asyraf, however, did not elaborate on what was discussed.