PETALING JAYA: Umno has to change if it wants to survive, say party leaders.
The state polls, which saw Umno winning only 19 of the 108 seats it contested, was a “final warning” for the party to change for the sake of its political survival, said Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
The Umno supreme council member described the performance in Selangor as “very weak”.
Barisan Nasional won two of 12 seats it contested, one of which was originally a DAP seat.
“Apart from the unique case of Sungai Air Tawar, which better reflects the candidate’s prowess, the Selangor polls showed that the more Malay voters there are, the harder it is for Umno to win,” he said.
Incumbent Rizam Ismail won in Sungai Air Tawar.
“If the results are not seen as a final warning for the survival of the Malay party, I don’t know what other warning needs to be given,” Tengku Zafrul said in a Facebook post yesterday.
The Selangor Umno treasurer said that in today’s political scenario, the party’s strategy, skills and appeal were important.
He also said the direction and ideology of Selangor Umno needed to be clear and accepted by grassroots members, and not only be seen as wanting to chase power.
“I hope the party leadership rises up and corrects the situation. It must not just want to pursue short-term power but also want to put in serious effort to regain the trust of the people and the party grassroots.
“Everyone in Umno, including me, needs to reflect and rebuild the party’s strength,” he added.
Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh said Umno must “dare to change” if it did not want to continue to be forgotten.
“Many people still love Umno.
“The task of Umno leaders now is to restore the people’s trust in the party. The voice of the people should be prioritised, not the voice of the leader,” he said in a Facebook post.