"If Umno can't be fixed, let it die naturally' - Syed Ali

15 Aug 2023 05:00pm
Former Cheras Umno division chief Datuk Seri Syed Ali Al-Habshee. - Photo from Syed Ali's Facebook
Former Cheras Umno division chief Datuk Seri Syed Ali Al-Habshee. - Photo from Syed Ali's Facebook

KUALA LUMPUR - A former Umno member believes that Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi must 'remain' as president and the Malay party leadership should continue their struggles despite suffering a major loss in the recent state elections.

Former Cheras Umno division chief Datuk Seri Syed Ali Al-Habshee said cynically that maybe the Malay would continue leaving Umno that way.

He described Umno as scratched and scarred.

"If it can't be fixed any more, let the party die naturally.

"It's normal; every competition would have a winner, and the team that is strong with a well-respected 'captain' will emerge victorious; if they were weak, this is the result," he said in a Facebook update on his page on Tuesday.

In the 2023 elections, Barisan Nasional won 19 of the 108 seats contested, winning 14 seats in Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan (one), and two seats for Penang and Selangor.

It was surprising when the seats held by two former Terengganu Menteri Besar, which were in the Kijal and Seberang Takir state seats, as well as several BN strongholds in Hulu Besut, Jertih, Kuala Besut, Telemung, Batu Rakit, Bukit Besi, Air Putih, and Langkap, fell.

The 15th general election (GE15) saw Umno under Zahid's leadership suffer a major loss when they only won 26 Parliamentary seats.

Syed Ali said further that he was called to give his views after looking at the current political landscape and described it as 'too late' for the Umno president and leadership to resign.

He said it was better for them to be 'maintained' along with the Madani government led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"It is inappropriate for any Umno leaders to be urged to step down following an embarassing loss for the party in the recent elections.

They, in my opinion, should be maintained, including the president, Supreme Council Members, Umno State, and division chiefs, including the party wing chiefs," he said.

Syed Ali added that burdening them (the Umno leadership) for the party's loss in the state elections was unfair, as all Umno members must be responsible for this decision.

He urged party members who were loyal in support of the leadership of the president not to point fingers at other parties to cover up the weaknesses of the party, which was rejected by the Malay majority.

BN's losses in the state elections brought several reactions from political observers and Umno members.

This included Umno Supreme Council member Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, who said the election results on Saturday represented the final warning for the continuation of Umno and that the party must change.

Umno vice president Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani was reported as saying Umno must research how the party is governed.

The Titiwangsa MP stated Umno should evaluate the current structure to pull Malay voters before GE16.

The Star earlier today reported Zahid realised there were urges for him to step down from his post following Umno's performance that was less than satisfactory in the elections.

He admitted 'complete responsibility' for what happened, but the Bagan Datuk MP did not make a statement on whether he would step down.