PETALING JAYA: Two analysts have questioned the timing of Umno Youth’s call for DAP to apologise over past accusations levelled against their party, with one saying it was “six months late”.
Mazlan Ali from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) said the call by the wing’s chief Akmal Saleh, who is also a Melaka Umno leader, would have been more relevant if it was made prior to the formation of the unity government in December.
Mazlan also did not discount the possibility that Akmal was looking to improve his political standing by making such a call.
He said that Akmal paled in comparison to his predecessors, in terms of charisma and popularity.
“So he wants to be seen as a strong and decisive Umno youth leader,” Mazlan told FMT.
On Thursday, during the Umno general assembly, Akmal demanded an open apology from DAP for accusations levelled at them when the two parties were political rivals.
However, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi played down the call for an apology, saying there was no need to prolong the issue.
Akmal however, said the wing was firm on wanting an apology from DAP and would not back down on its demand.
Mujibu Abd Muis of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) also believes that the more combative approach taken by Akmal was meant to convince the grassroots that it was no sell-out and would still champion the Malay cause despite joining forces with its traditional rivals.
He also believes that Akmal’s posturing was meant to allay concerns of the party’s standing in the unity government.
“Akmal needs to address these uncertainties as it is an issue that could cripple Umno in the impending state polls.”
Mujibu said the concerns the grassroots have was the reason Akmal’s tone at the general assembly differed from the one he adopted at last month’s unity government convention.
In May, Akmal called for the unity government youth wings to reject all differences and find common ground to provide political stability.
However, Mujibu felt there was no need for the two parties to apologise to each other as the unkind remarks were made when they were at odds and it was normal for political foes to attach labels to each other.