PETALING JAYA: The Umno leadership’s continued failure to manage its “political relationship” with DAP will lead the party to its doom, says a party leader.
The leader, who asked to remain anonymous, said the party’s Supreme Council has failed to understand that its widespread rejection by the Malays is down to a failure to manage their perception of the party’s relationship with DAP in government.
He said Umno must explain to its supporters and voters that the party agreed to be part of an administrative collaboration involving DAP in Putrajaya following the King’s call for a unity government to be formed.
“We all know that DAP has been our political enemy for decades and that our political dynamics are completely different, That makes our current political relationship with DAP complex.
“This allows PN to paint a picture that Umno is no longer fighting for the Malays despite all we have done.
“That is the basis for PN’s claim that it is the new safe haven for the Malays,” he told FMT.
He said Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s declaration in June that the unity administration could remain even beyond the 16th general election (GE16) only served to make matters worse.
“We must be able to separate our political position and remain independent until we table a motion at the party’s next general assembly setting out our political relationship with Pakatan Harapan in GE16 and beyond.
“Having the party president push that agenda without a proper motion (tabled in the general assembly) reflects a lack of proper governance in Umno,” he said.
The leader also described Umno secretary-general Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki’s statement on Wednesday that the party will continue to strengthen and defend the unity government as tone deaf. So far, no one in Umno has talked about toppling the Anwar Ibrahim-led government, he said.
“Most of the internal criticism within Umno is not against the unity government. The Umno Supreme Council has failed to read the room. This leadership will be the reason for Umno’s doom,” he warned.
Meanwhile, a division leader who spoke on condition of anonymity also disagreed with what Asyraf said, adding that the grassroots dissatisfaction over Umno’s ties with PH was mainly due to the presence of DAP.
He said Umno’s Supreme Council is in denial over the matter.
“The grassroots are also not happy with the president (Zahid), which has been an issue since we lost big in the general election last year (GE15). He should have stepped down, just as Najib Razak did in 2018.”
Another division leader said Umno members are not ready to work with PH for the full term.
“For now, we have no choice but we also want the party to build its momentum immediately so we can get away from PH. The Malays have given up on us as was obvious at the Kemaman by-election.
“The votes we got were less than what we got in GE15. This could be due to our alliance with PH, particularly DAP,” he said, agreeing with calls for Zahid to step down as Umno president and make way for a new leader.
“If we go on like this, we will be wiped out like Pejuang.”