‘Unity’ alliance’s cohesiveness at grassroots level comes under scrutiny

Apprehensions and misgivings among members need to be addressed with urgency to prevent loss of support, say analysts

(The Vibes) – The unity element which Pakatan Harapan-Barisan Nasional (PH-BN) alliance has espoused runs the risk of only existing at the leadership level but not so firmly among the grassroots of both sides, said an Umno political analyst.

This is why the two coalitions who lead the federal Unity Government struggled in last month’s six-state elections with their voter numbers dropping, said Azizi Safar. Eventhough PH won the twin by-elections in Pulai and Simpang Jeram on August 12, there is no denying that voters, particularly the Malays, continue to move away from the unity alliance.

Azizi, who analyses politics in the northern region, reckoned that the losses which PH and BN endured in the states of Kedah, Penang, Kelantan, Terengganu, Negri Sembilan and especially Selangor, were due to the lack of harmony among their own grassroots.

The Umno-led BN continues to struggle in the wake of the unrest within the Malay-Muslim political ground, he said in an interview

Hence, the suggestion by Umno Supreme Council member Isham Jalil that BN remains in the unity government to provide stability but contests on its own in future elections has merits although it may be unsettling to some quarters, said Azizi.

To prove Isham wrong, Azizi addeds, the leaders of the unity bloc should spend more time among their grassroots to lobby their members to support their government.

“Also, we need to explain and clarify any misgivings that the grassroots may have. This premise is for all parties in the unity bloc, but particularly (grassroots of) Umno and DAP.”

There is also a degree of confusion among the grassroots on this matter, said Azizi.

“Although I am neither a fan nor supporter of Isham, his contention that we contest separately but remain in the unity government, needs pondering by the leadership,” he said.

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