PETALING JAYA: A youth leader wants Umno’s leadership to focus on strengthening the party first before looking to improve ties with Pakatan Harapan.
Umno Youth permanent chairman Wan Agyl Wan Hassan said the relationship between the party and PH would be naturally strong if Umno itself was on sure footing, but he believed this was not the case after another abysmal performance at the recent state elections.
He told FMT that PH may “ditch” the party if its support among the Malays continues to erode. If that happens, the unity government would no longer need Umno as an ally to remain in Putrajaya, he said.
“When is the party going to address the problem (of losing Malay support)?
“Our (Umno’s) current position in the unity government is still not accepted by the Malay voters. So, what’s next? We have not explained our position in the unity government, so how can we regain Malay support and their trust,” he asked.
Wan Agyl also called on the party’s leadership to release the findings of a post-mortem conducted following the recent six state elections.
“We want to know (the conclusions drawn) as they said they have already received the post-mortem reports,” he said.
Last week, Umno secretary-general Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki announced that the party’s supreme council had decided to strengthen its ties with PH component parties at all levels to ensure political stability.
Meanwhile, Amanah communications director Khalid Samad welcomed Asyraf’s announcement, which he believed would help ensure the longevity of the unity government.
He was confident that given time, Umno’s grassroots would be more comfortable working with PH.
The former Shah Alam MP noted that Umno’s grassroots were more comfortable working with Perikatan Nasional as they had been a part of the same administration for two and a half years, first under Muhyiddin Yassin and then under Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
“This is something we need to address to stabilise the government and strengthen the relationship between PH and BN,” Khalid said.
Separately, political analyst Mazlan Ali of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia said some Umno members might need more time to come to terms with the cooperation between former rivals Umno and PH.
Mazlan called on party leaders to meet their grassroots members to convince them about the benefits of this cooperation amid the current political reality.
“This (PH-Umno) collaboration is not even a year old, (so) Umno and PH need more time to get to know each other and adjust their approaches,” said Mazlan.
“If done well, and with DAP becoming more tolerant, I believe it will be more successful,” he added.