Despite wipeout, Terengganu Umno members keep the faith

KUALA TERENGGANU: Terengganu Umno members and supporters are not giving up on their party despite the total wipeout in the state polls.

Some even said that the massive defeat – Umno lost in all 27 seats it contested – was a lesson they could learn from to come back stronger.

Some said it was a clear signal from its traditional support base that the party must change its top leadership.

“God willing, we will rise again and continue Umno’s and Barisan Nasional’s struggles after we rid ourselves of our shortcomings,” said Erwan Mohd Safian, a member from the Kemaman division.

Erwan declined to mention what the flaws were but said the division’s branches would be meeting to unify members’ voices before party’s annual general meeting later this year.

In the election, Perikatan Nasional component parties PAS and Bersatu swept up all 32 state seats, including 10 that had been held by Umno.

Zamri Awang Hitam, who campaigned extensively for Umno in the Batu Buruk seat, attributed the party’s losses to the low turnout among undecided voters and the changing tastes of young voters.

“In the past, if the parents were Barisan supporters, we could be sure their children would be too.

“These days, parents and children don’t necessarily vote the same way,” said Zamri, from the Kuala Terengganu division.

“Young people vote according to what is trending on social media. Now, it is trendy to support Perikatan because there are so many influencers.”

To rebuild the party’s stature, Umno and Barisan must be trendy on social media, he added.

Ayob Mamat, a resident from Seberang Takir, said Umno must walk the talk over reforms.

“Umno kept saying they want to make changes but they’re not doing much. They must start putting new faces, yet at the same time not ignore the veterans who have contributed,” he said.

Some party members, however, believe the changes must start at the very top.

This was because Barisan’s traditional supporters were upset at party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, they said.

A supporter from Kemaman, Ahmad Husni, said Umno must seriously start addressing the Ahmad Zahid issue.

“We still love and care for Umno but Ahmad Zahid’s corruption cases tainted not just him, but the whole party. As long as he helms the party, Terengganu Umno will be irrelevant,” he said.

Ahmad Husni said he hoped the president could take the defeats as a signal to resign.

Former Terengganu Umno chief Tan Sri Idris Jusoh has also called on Ahmad Zahid to resign.

The former state mentri besar urged Ahmad Zahid to take responsibility for the party’s poor performance, especially in Terengganu.

“Ahmad Zahid must resign,” the veteran Umno member wrote in a Facebook post.

However, Umno supreme council member Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi pointed out that calls for Ahmad Zahid to quit would not be a solution.

The losses faced by the party was a shared burden, he said.

“Don’t point fingers. Urging (Datuk Seri Dr) Ahmad Zahid (Hamidi) to resign is not the solution. Everyone is responsible,” he said.

In a Facebook post, Puad said that Umno ministers must make a serious effort to ensure the Malay and rakyat agenda was a real success.

He said Umno must win Malay support.

“That is why Umno must remain in the unity government. Pakatan Harapan - Barisan Nasional needs to strengthen its cooperation. Zahid fits this mission. He does not need to resign,” he said.

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Terengganu , Umno , state elections


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