Ordinary Malays don't support corrupt party - Analyst

Umno Youth Chief's tactics may risk party's future

13 Apr 2024 09:30am
Dr Akmal's pursuit of 'personal heroism' could jeopardise Umno, analysts suggest
Dr Akmal's pursuit of 'personal heroism' could jeopardise Umno, analysts suggest

SHAH ALAM - Amidst the controversial KK Mart boycott led by Umno Youth Chief Dr Muhammad Akmal Saleh, political observers have voiced concerns over the potential impact on the party's reputation and support base.

Sunway University Political Scientist Professor Wong Chin Huat highlighted the risks associated with Dr Akmal's strategies.

"Dr Akmal's pursuit of personal heroism, apparent from the lack of broader leadership support within Umno, risks putting the party in a precarious position over the next three years," he told Sinar Daily when contacted.

Wong also expressed skepticism about Dr Akmal's ability to use the KK Mart issue to regain Malay-Muslim voters, especially those from Perikatan Nasional (PN).

"The perception of corruption has eroded Umno's claim as a defender of Malay-Muslim nationalism," Wong noted, adding that the general Malay population remains unconvinced of a corrupt party's ability to represent communal interests effectively.

"Ordinary Malays mostly don't believe a corrupt party can be a real defender of communal interests," he added.

In a related matter, political analyst Dr Oi Eh Sun opined that Umno's senior leadership is uneasy about Dr Akmal's forceful tactics.

"In our highly racialised and religious society, Umno's central leadership finds itself unable to moderate such radical behaviors without risking political backlash," Oi said.

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He highlighted the strategic challenges Umno faces, particularly in light of Pakatan Harapan's struggles to attract Malay votes in recent elections.

Associate Professor Dr Syaza Shukri from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) provided a contrasting perspective, suggesting that internal dissent is typical for a large and established party like Umno.

"The party is not divided; it remains committed to the Unity Government," she said.

She highlighted the respect other Unity Government members have for Umno's autonomy in handling its internal affairs.

"The others in the Unity Government are respecting and leaving Umno to handle this as it is an internal party matter.

"But Umno's leadership is now committed to the Unity Government," she said.