Umno still far from winning Malay's trust - Tok MatSITI AISYAH MOHAMAD
SHAH ALAM - The results of the Kemaman Parliamentary by-election, which was announced on Saturday, clearly signal that Umno is still far from succeeding in restoring the Malays' trust in the party.
Its deputy president, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, said that despite the party's best efforts to field a national hero with an excellent service record in the by-election, they were still unsuccessful.
"Umno must acknowledge that the Malays still have a long way to go before they will trust this party to effectively represent their interests in politics. Rebuilding this trust will be a challenging, but not impossible, process.
"This result also makes the party aware that it must have the resilience to continue fighting in an increasingly dynamic Malay political arena, as the by-election results are a clear indication that it is a long, non-linear, and time-consuming journey.
“Enthusiasm, working methods, strategy, and leadership need persistence if this party wants to compete to regain the influence and trust of the Malay race in politics," he said through Facebook on Monday.
In the Kemaman by-election last week, Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate, General (B) Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor, lost to Pas candidate, who is also Terengganu Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar.
Ahmad Samsuri obtained 64,998 votes, compared to 27,778 received by Raja Mohamed Affandi.
Mohamad added that Umno also continued to be shunned by the younger Malay generation.
"Something must be done immediately because the young generation has the potential to be won over for us to gain their support, but the methods must be appropriate to their image, aspirations, and life needs.
"The result of this by-election also serves as a lesson that balancing racial and religious politics is difficult and complex because it is not easy to present simple options.
"Right-wing extremist ideologies and racial and religious rhetoric are all very easy to use to gain popularity. Umno cannot slip from the path of moderation," he said.
According to Mohamad, the defeat in the Kemaman by-election did not kill the party.
"It is a competition in the democratic league where there are winners and losers; Umno only lost like other defeats it has experienced.
"At another time, there will definitely be a victory for this party, God willing," he wrote.