Bersatu falling further behind, Puad tells Hamzah

An Umno leader has dismissed Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin’s claim that his party has the potential to “go the distance”, after it clinched 31 seats in the 15th general election (GE15), just six years after its formation.

(FMT) – Umno Supreme Council member Puad Zarkashi said Hamzah is forgetting that Bersatu is now falling further behind.

“It (Bersatu) is not just trailing behind PAS, but also being abandoned by its MPs who are set to leave the party.

“The root cause is that Bersatu doesn’t have its own grassroots. Its success came through PAS,” Puad said in a Facebook post today.

Yesterday, a report quoted Hamzah as saying that Bersatu’s political potential was apparent from its ability to win 31 seats in GE15, just six years after it was officially formed.

It said the Larut MP told the Bersatu general assembly that this was an unprecedented achievement among Malaysia’s political parties.

“Other parties that have been established for decades have not been able to achieve this kind of achievement, so, if we can work hard, we can achieve a better reputation,” he was quoted as saying.

In response, Puad said Bersatu has failed to “replace Umno”, adding that the party does not have stronghold states like PAS, Umno and PKR.

He said the lack of grassroots support for Bersatu will lead the party’s representatives to shift their allegiance, if not to PAS, then to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

“Bersatu will be left far behind even before the 16th general election,” he said.

Bersatu, formed in 2016 under the leadership of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, played a pivotal role in the downfall of Najib Razak’s government by bringing together disenchanted Umno members and opposition figures.