KUALA LUMPUR: Umno members are demanding that the party leadership provides a clearer explanation on its political cooperation with other parties, especially PAS.
Representative of Federal Territories Umno, Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz, said the party president and Supreme Council must do this to avoid confusion and misinterpretation among Umno members.
For example, he said, when the Umno Supreme Council decided to boycott the Port Dickson by-election, there was a need to explain to members whether this meant that the party would still help PAS campaign.
“Political agreements must come with clear guidelines so that it will benefit the party and the struggle to defend religion, race and the nation,” he said while debating the presidential address at the Umno General Assembly 2018 here on Sunday (30 Sept).
On Saturday (Sept 29), in his maiden presidential address, Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that the party’s doors were open for cooperation with any political party, as long as this did not require trading off its principles.
“In the matter of political consensus with other parties, Umno must also study the status of quota seats so that it will benefit Umno and the opposition bloc,” he said.
The effort to restore confidence in Umno must also be done at once and the party leadership must go on the ground often to meet the people, added Tun Faisal.
“The president and Supreme Council members must immediately go out and explain the party’s direction to the grassroots,” he added.
Selangor Umno representative Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omardin expressed the same concerns.
He said it was good that Ahmad Zahid had said that Umno will work with parties in the opposition bloc in the spirit of cooperation for a common interest, but more explanations are needed.
“If there is no clear direction about what we are doing, I’m afraid that those at the bottom will be confused,” he said.
Megat also said that Umno must take stern action against turncoats, those elected representatives who broke away from the party after winning seats under its ticket.
“We must deal with them so that they vacate the seat, which belongs to Umno,” he said.
Meanwhile, Umno Supreme Council member and Sabah Umno representative Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said Umno must carry out a radical transformation for the agenda of the Malays and the bumiputras.
This includes granting Sabah Umno political autonomy so that it can have a new identity and status to restore the confidence of Sabahans in the party.
“With this new identity, the issue of local-based Sabah parties accusing us as being a proxy Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) party will be eliminated automatically,” he said.In his presidential address, Ahmad Zahid had also said that Umno will convene an extraordinary meeting to grant more autonomy to Sabah Umno.