Sept 9 by-elections key to evaluating alliance with PH, says Umno leader

Umno must ensure that Pakatan Harapan (PH) retains the Pulai parliamentary and Simpang Jeram state seats on Sept 9 to prove that it still holds Malay support in its birthplace, says a divisional leader.

(FMT) – Segamat Umno deputy chief Bastien Onn said failing to help ensure PH victories would be a major slap in the face for Umno in view of its origins in Johor and since Barisan Nasional (BN) governs the state.

“During the recent six state elections, we saw how the Malays in areas where they make up the majority rejected Umno’s alliance with PH,” he told FMT.

“Now, we will see if the Malays in Umno’s birthplace would support or reject the PH-BN unity government.

“It will serve as a key indicator for the (Umno) leadership to evaluate (its alliance with PH).

“If Umno is rejected in the Malay majority areas (in Johor), what would it mean for this party which is meant to champion the Malays and fight for their rights in this country?”

Bastien said if Umno fails to ensure PH victories in both seats, the BN lynchpin must review whether or not its partnership with PH adds value to the party.

Umno managed to win only 19 of the 108 seats it contested in the recent state elections. The party, which contested under the BN banner, won 14 seats in Negeri Sembilan, two each in Selangor and Penang, and one in Kelantan.

It failed to win any of the seats it contested in Terengganu and Kedah including those with former menteris besar Ahmad Said, Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman and Mahdzir Khalid as candidates.

Meanwhile, Umno Youth vice-chief Hairi Mad Shah believes Johoreans will not be influenced by the “green wave” of support for PN, despite the outcome of the six state polls.

The Larkin assemblyman was confident that Umno’s machinery will go all-out to ensure wins for PH’s candidates in Pulai and Simpang Jeram, dismissing the possibility of any element of sabotage.