Umno must do away with internal sabotage, says analyst

Azmi Hassan says such a culture makes it difficult for the party to name election candidates early.

(FMT) – Umno will only benefit from announcing its election candidates early if it does away with its culture of internal sabotage, a political analyst says.

Azmi Hassan, a fellow at the National Council of Professors, said Umno tended to change its candidates at the last minute due to internal politicking at the division level.

“Naming candidates early certainly has its benefits, as the candidate will be able to get to know the constituency,” he told FMT.

However, he said Umno’s internal politics made it difficult to do so.

Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya meanwhile said the matter of internal politics was common to all political parties.

But he agreed that announcing candidates early would be preferable to “parachuting in” candidates who are unknown to locals.

“We frequently see internal sabotage whenever a leader is proposed ahead of an election, no matter the political party.

“But if it can be handled well, (naming candidates early) is one of the most effective strategies, provided that those who are not selected support the candidate,” he said.

Umno vice-president Johari Ghani previously urged the party to be more courageous by unveiling its potential candidates early.

Johari said delays in naming candidates would make it difficult for constituents to get to know those chosen to contest.

“When a potential candidate is named, he or she can start attending to the people there,” he was quoted as saying on Saturday by Sinar Harian.