Umno struggles to reconnect with grassroots amidst recent political shifts - Former Johor MB Hasni

Former Johor MB highlights internal struggle

24 Apr 2024 12:11pm
Hasni Mohammad. - Photo by Sinar
Hasni Mohammad. - Photo by Sinar

SHAH ALAM - While some Umno members perceive themselves as part of the government, there is a disconnect with grassroots sentiments, says former Johor menteri besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad.

"There's a crucial need for Umno ministers to effectively represent the party's interests and stay connected with its base," the former state Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman stressed, emphasising the importance of efforts to bolster the party's support.

Hasni pointed out the challenge faced by Umno in adjusting to the new landscape following their loss of government long before the last general election (GE), exacerbating their struggle to adapt to the Unity Government's dynamics.

"Umno is still navigating to find its footing within the current government, perhaps comforted by some holding ministerial positions.

"However, our ministers often outperform their respective ministries, yet fail to resonate with our grassroots," he told Sinar Daily when contacted.

He also stressed the necessity for Umno's governmental roles to influence public perception of the party positively.

On BN's outlook, Hasni indicated a realistic approach, acknowledging that returning to former dominance might not be feasible.

Instead, efforts are focused on defending and expanding current support, especially within the component parties like Umno.

"From Johor's political standpoint, Barisan has secured a majority in state assembly.

"However, more efforts are essential to safeguard our current support," he added.

Discussing the potential of Perikatan Nasional (PN) as the next government, Hasni expressed skepticism, citing the incumbent government's room for improvement in economic and political spheres.

"We'll witness changes within the next two to three years. Considering PN as the next government might be premature given the current government's unfinished agenda," he added.

Hasni outlined Umno's efforts to rebound from recent setbacks, including participation in patriotic events like Raya celebrations to demonstrate solidarity.

"Although we observe a decline in support, it's imperative to continuously engage with diverse communities," he emphasiaed.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, during a recent Aidilfitri celebration by Hulu Selangor Umno, acknowledged Umno's diminishing dominance, viewing it as a test of resilience and competitiveness.

In the last general election, Umno secured only 26 seats, and in the last state election, it won 19 out of 108 contested seats.