BN should contest GE16 on Umno ticket, says analyst

Azmi Hassan says Umno’s logo has a stronger presence than even Barisan Nasional’s iconic ‘dacing’ symbol.

(FMT) – A political analyst has suggested that Barisan Nasional (BN) contest the 16th general election (GE16) under the Umno banner, saying the party’s emblem is still prominent among Malay voters.

Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said Umno’s logo still had a strong and effective presence in Malaysian politics, even more so than BN’s iconic “dacing” symbol.

He said this was because Umno had always been the dominant party in BN, which currently has 30 parliamentary seats. Of these, Umno holds 26, followed by MCA with two while MIC and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah hold one seat each.

Azmi said it would be the right move for BN to contest under its own banner at GE16 rather than the Pakatan Harapan (PH) logo or a shared unity government ticket, if the alliance still remains at that point.

Bilcher Bala of Universiti Malaysia Sabah agreed, saying that using its own emblem would reduce confusion among voters in areas long held by BN, thus safeguarding its support.

He nonetheless said that the alliance between BN and PH would hang on the outcome of GE16 and how both coalitions fare at the polls.

“If one of them suffers heavy losses or they fail to win a two-thirds majority together, I expect some political maneuvering to establish new alliances for the formation of the federal government.”

Yesterday, BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reiterated that the unity coalition would face the next general election together, although contesting under their respective banners.

Despite the Umno president’s repeated statements on BN and PH teaming up for GE16, PH secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said in March that the ruling coalition had yet to decide on the matter.