PETALING JAYA: Umno must review the manner in which it is managed as its disastrous election outing shows the party is clearly losing Malay support, says vice-president Johari Ghani.
“We need to look into whether the party, in its current form, will be able to attract the Malay electorate in future. We need to do this before the 16th general election in 2027,” he told reporters after distributing aid to undergraduates in his constituency of Titiwangsa, Kuala Lumpur.
Johari also urged party leaders to take responsibility for Umno’s drubbing at yesterday’s legislative assembly elections, in which the party won only 19 of the 108 seats it contested in six states.
“In my view, all Umno leaders, including the top five (the president, deputy president and three vice-presidents), Supreme Council leaders, divisional leaders in every state and the Wanita, Puteri and Youth chiefs must take responsibility for the loss,” he said.
“I personally, despite being a vice president for five months, take responsibility for the losses,” Johari added.
Johari’s suggestion for an internal Umno review follows claims that the party had lost its relevance among Malay voters, an assertion that he disputed.
At yesterday’s elections, Umno won two seats in Selangor and in Penang and one seat in Kelantan. It did not win a single seat in Terengganu despite two former menteris besar being fielded.
However, the party had a strong showing in Negeri Sembilan, where it won 14 of the 17 seats contested, contributing to a two-thirds majority victory with Pakatan Harapan.
Umno’s main rivals, the opposition Perikatan Nasional comprising Bersatu and PAS, retained power in Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu and made major gains in Penang, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan, the three states won by the alliance of Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional.
Johari said Umno must accept the fact that it has lost Malay support in Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah.
However, to those who said Umno was no longer relevant to the Malay community, he pointed out that most of PN’s seats were those won by PAS, not Bersatu, which he said lost 40 seats out of 79 contested.
Yesterday, PN chairman and Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin said Umno’s 82% loss ratio showed that the party was no longer relevant.