KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — Local pollster Ilham Centre’s finding that Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is the reason the Barisan Nasional (BN) scored so low with Malay voters in the August 12 six state elections is “flawed”, according to party veteran Datuk Puad Zarkashi.
Puad, who is an Umno supreme council member, said the results had only zoomed in on Zahid as the cause and the need for him to resign, and for new leadership to take over but did not disclose further details.
“But Ilham Centre doesn’t dare to commit and say that if Zahid resigns, all the problems will be solved. According to it, Umno needs a total change. But it doesn't say what exactly needs to change,” he said in a Facebook post today.
The Johor state lawmaker said that Umno is not in denial that it is losing support and influence among the Malay community which it seeks to champion.
He said Malaysia is currently facing extreme fanaticism in politics and that even Umno has become a victim of this.
“As long as that doesn’t change, it is not just Umno, but the country that will be under threat.
“That is what is missing from the Ilham Centre’s analysis. Regressive politics of preachers judging others which has taken over the political mindset of the Malays. It is worrying,” he said.
He questioned the popularity of Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor from PAS, which he claimed to be at a god-like level of worship despite there being the rare earth controversy in Kedah.
“That is extremism,” he said.
Ilham Centre presented the results of its post-state election survey of over 2,400 voters polled from July 11 to August 8 here yesterday.
Among its assertions was that the majority of Malay voters rejected Umno and BN because they were either jaded with Zahid or were unable to move on from the old dogma of hatred.
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.