PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan (PH) grassroots leaders in Selangor are convinced that Umno can help them capture Malay votes in the upcoming state election.
DAP Youth (Dapsy) national secretary Ong Chun Wei said Umno’s 61 years in government up to 2018 will be a factor that will help PH-Barisan Nasional win Malay support in the election.
Close cooperation between the two coalitions will help the unity government win in Selangor, which PH has held since 2008, he said.
PH and BN combined will mean more votes for candidates from the two coalitions over the rivals from Perikatan Nasional (PN), said Ong, who is based in Selangor.
According to political scientist Bridget Welsh, only 11% of the Malay community voted for PH in the 15th general election (GE15).
Ampang PKR chief Syed Ahmad Syed Abdul Rahman Alhadad said the combined PH and Umno grassroots support will result in a more robust machinery heading towards the state election.
Syed Ahmad said PKR was aware of Umno’s strength in Ampang, especially the women’s wing.
He said his party members were more receptive to working with their BN counterparts and cooperation between the two sides had improved over time.
“Our leadership has sent the signal (to work with Umno), as shown by (party president) Anwar Ibrahim going to the Umno general assembly,” he said.
Yesterday, Anwar, who is also the PH chairman and prime minister, attended the Umno general assembly for the first time in 25 years.
He last attended an Umno general assembly in June 1998, as the party’s deputy president. He was sacked from the party three months later.
He said he attended the assembly on the platform of unity with the hope of strengthening the unity government.
Sepang Amanah chief Zulkarnain Abdul Yazid said the working relationship between his party and Sepang Umno had also shown positive signs.
He hoped the Umno division leaders could convince their grassroots to support any PH candidate vying for a state seat in Sepang.
“PH will support them (Umno-BN) and vice-versa, that is our hope,” Zulkarnain said.
Last month, Sepang Umno chief Noorazli Said said PH and Umno had started working together in his division and exchanging information to reach out to voters.
Selangor is one of the six states going to the polls after June. The other states are Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.