Analyst predicts Umno revolt if party gets polls thrashing

Mujibu Abd Muis says the polls will serve as a referendum on the Umno leadership’s decision to work with Pakatan Harapan.

(FMT) – A political analyst has predicted another revolt within Umno if the party performs poorly in the coming six state elections.

Mujibu Abd Muis of Universiti Teknologi Mara said he believed Umno was still very much fractured, even though party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has removed or neutralised his party rivals and critics.

These include former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, and former MPs such as Noh Omar, Annuar Musa, Shahidan Kassim and others.

“Umno is already fractured into several factions, such as Zahid’s camp, Bossku’s (Najib Razak) camp and there is a non-aligned camp that may have their own ideas.

“I believe this (Umno’s internal fragmentation) will be intensified, if the state elections results are not favourable to them,” Mujibu said.

He also said the elections will serve as a referendum on the party leadership’s decision to work alongside Pakatan Harapan after the 2022 general election, when Umno won only 26 seats.

In the aftermath, numerous Umno leaders called on Zahid to resign from his post, as Najib Razak did when Barisan Nasional lost power in 2018.

Mujibu said Umno grassroots may not be as convinced as the leadership on the merits of joining forces with PH and in particular DAP, which the party has long criticised.

He said if Umno performed well, this could reassure the grassroots that working with PH was the right move.

Mazlan Ali of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia said the elections in Penang, Kedah, Terengganu, Kelantan, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan would serve as an important barometer of the grassroots support for the leadership’s decision.

He said the party’s ability to retain seats in the six states would serve as an indicator of the party’s relevance among voters.

“If Umno performs poorly it shows the party must do more to regain support. It must draw up a new strategy and think about how it can continue to win the support of the people,” he said.