Ilham Centre: Malay voters rejected Umno in state polls due to disdain towards Zahid

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

lKUALA LUMPUR, Aug 25 — The majority of Malay voters rejected Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) during the recently concluded state elections because they were either jaded with its president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi or were unable to move on from the old dogma of hatred.

Pollster Ilham Centre revealed today that apart from the two reasons above they also found a large disconnect between the upper management and lower management in Umno which they said made Umno members openly support Perikatan Nasional (PN) during the state elections.

“His image was a telling point in what we found during our survey, even Umno people put him as the main issue for them not being able to win over voters. When we asked them can Umno-BN rise again after this general elections, most said no,” Ilham Centre’s executive director Muhammad Hisommudin Bakar said.

“Then there’s that old dogma of hating DAP and Anwar which we found many were unable to move away from. They couldn’t bear to hold an opposition flag and campaign as they feared being teased by fellow Muslims supporting PN.

“Then you have the supporters at the divisional levels like in Terengganu and Kelantan who are contentious. You don’t put their candidate in, they’ll protest,” he added.

Hisammudin said he also found that BN lost out many supporters when they aligned with PAS in the Muafakat Nasional (MN) coalition. He said the MN coalition was a magnet for Malays and it showed in how well and fast both parties gelled.

“Now we see BN’s machinery so shy or apprehensive when talking about their coalition partners. We noticed many didn’t work as hard or go all out wholeheartedly during this state elections and it’s down to this internal turmoil in Umno where some don’t want to be in the unity government while others want a clearer direction and vision from the leadership,” he added.

The MN charter was signed between Umno and PAS in September 2019, following the defeat of Barisan Nasional at the 14th General Election the year before.

MN was formed to contest against Bersatu who were the other predominantly Malay party that was formerly with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, before the Sheraton Move which resulted in them defecting from PH to form and lead the PN coalition.

At the state elections, Umno was the only BN party to contest in this year’s state elections and won only 19 seats out of a total of 108 it contested across the six states.

Apart from that Hisammudin also said Umno had lost its stronghold on Felda settlers and teachers. He said the once vote bank had now been infiltrated by the opposition and if nothing’s done they stand to lose out.