Tengku Razaleigh warns of election backlash

(The Edge) – Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has warned of unintended consequences of Barisan Nasional (BN) taking control of Perak without resorting to elections, but through “dubious” defections.

“Our taking control without resort to elections would cement the enmity of the very people we should be trying to win back at the next elections. Come next general election, they are likely to reject both our state and parliamentary candidates with greater vehemence, and not just in Perak.

“Contests in a democracy are not a fight for survival in which anything goes. They are competitions to serve.

“BN should reform to improve its ability to serve with distinction. This is a long-term project that requires immediate focus. We do not need the distraction of transient, shaky victories when our task is to upgrade ourselves to win elections again, fair and square,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Tengku Razaleigh added that “this is the only sustainable way to win the public back to BN”.

“Umno is in critical condition. Our biggest challenge, both as a party and as the governing party, is to tackle corruption at every level. We are under close public scrutiny in addressing this problem. Unless we implement radical reforms and are seen to be doing so, we are finished politically come next election.

“Instead we are now seen to be ‘winning back’ Perak with the crossover of exactly the kind of low calibre individuals, as one commentator has put it, that we should shun,” he said.