Is the most dominant political party in the country under threat? Does it fear a political tsunami in the coming 14th general election (GE14)? It depends on which Umno leader is talking.
The party is sending out mixed signals on its chances at the GE14, which could be held next March. In one day, we hear two different takes on how Umno would fare at the next elections.
In Labuan yesterday, BN strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said BN would continue to be the people’s choice because it is a united political entity which has the experience and established policies to deal with various issues in the country.
He dismissed the threat from Umno splinter parties, saying the formation of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPB) by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Parti Warisan by Datuk Seri Shafei Apdal and Parti Harapan Rakyat by Datuk Lajim Ukin, all former BN leaders, was only aimed at competing for the post of prime minister and to smear the BN-led government.
“After six months in operation, none of them have announced their economic, education, foreign, social or welfare policies,” he was quoted by Bernama as saying
Abdul Rahman, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said BN has continued to enjoy the people’s support because of public trust and confidence in the government’s credibility and capabilities.
Contrast this with what Umno Vice-President Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said in Johor Bahru. The GE14 would be the most intensely fought in the history of Umno and it would determine its survival as the ruling party, he said.
Hishammuddin, who is also Defence Minister, said the party should be prepared to face intense competition to ensure it did not suffer the same fate as the Golkar Party (Indonesia), the Congress Party (India) and the Kuomintang Party (Taiwan) which were defeated during elections.
Painting a different scenario from Abdul Rahman, Hishammuddin said he was talking about the comparison not to scare Umno members but this was the picture and the reality that must be accepted.
“Umno must return to a new mandate, but it will not be easy. Therefore, I have a special mission today to tell Johor Umno members that efforts to ensure UMNO’s victory in the upcoming election must begin here, on this day, in the birth place of our sacred party,” Bernama quoted him as saying at the opening of the Johor Umno Convention 2016 themed ‘Umno Spurs Advanced Malays’.
Is Umno fighting for its survival? It depends on which Umno leader you want to listen to.
Source : The Heat Malaysia Online