Umno hopes return of sacked members will revive party, says pollster

UMNO could be revived by taking sacked members back into the fold, but the party would do better with a change of leadership, Merdeka Center co-founder Ibrahim Suffian said.

“The potential (for revival) is there, but that will depend on who they are taking back into the fold. Those with credibility and followers will attract attention,” Ibrahim said.

“But a leadership transition will have a bigger impact (on the party’s fortunes).”

He said Umno could be taking back the members it has sacked to prevent them from making trouble for the party.

“Umno is trying to reduce the frictions in the party as it gears up for the next general election against PAS and Bersatu.

“It does not want these ex-members to join the opposition and help them in the polls,” said Ibrahim.

Ibrahim was commenting on a statement by Umno Supreme Council member Jalaludin Alias, who said the party was considering taking back former leaders and members who were removed in a party-wide “cleansing” after the 2022 general election.

Jalaludin said former members who remained loyal to the Malay nationalist party and its aims would be given a second chance.

Over the last year, Umno has revoked the membership of several prominent party leaders, such as former Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, former Tanjong Karang MP Tan Sri Noh Omar, and its information chief Isham Jalil.

Umno has also temporarily suspended the membership of several leaders, including Sembrong MP Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and former party information chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan.

Ilham Centre executive director Hisomuddin Bakar did not think the return of sacked members would make Umno any stronger.

“The political landscape has changed. The new voters are for Perikatan Nasional. Umno needs a new formula to attract these people,” he said.

“There is no guarantee old faces will help the party win over new voters, especially the young ones.

“Things have changed. Umno will not get any better allowing sacked members back into the party.”

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