UMNO’s relevance continues despite being perceived as lifeless, says party president

Image courtesy of Channel News Asia

Despite widespread perceptions of being a “lifeless” party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) still holds significance, according to party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Speaking at the party’s 77th-anniversary celebration, he acknowledged that the party currently has only 26 members in parliament, along with four more from the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, but insisted the party’s relevance endures.

UMNO, Malaysia’s oldest political party, lost its 61-year grip on power during the 2018 General Election when the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition won. Ahmad Zahid believes that UMNO functions better as part of the current unity government rather than with previous partners in the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) governments.

Regarding seat allocations for the upcoming six state elections, Ahmad Zahid said that BN deputy chairman Mohamad Hasan will lead negotiations with parties in the unity government. The elections will take place in Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu this year.

In a separate matter, Ahmad Zahid criticised the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) for its tendency to abandon partners each time it joins any political coalition. He claimed that the Islamist party will eventually leave its partners in the opposition PN coalition.

According to the report, Ahmad Zahid also rejected the assertion that UMNO was sidelining Malay unity. He emphasised that Malay unity is a primary objective of his party and must be compatible with Malaysia’s pluralistic society. He pledged that the Federal Constitution enshrining Islam as the religion of the federation would continue to hold supreme as long as UMNO remains in government reports Channel News Asia.

Asia News

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Sara is a journalist and content writer who specializes in lifestyle, wellness, and travel topics. Sara's journey in journalism began as a copywriter, and over time, her portfolio expanded to include articles and features for some of the nation's top lifestyle publications. Outside the office, she enjoys practising yoga and exploring hidden locations in Bangkok.