Umno VP urges early candidate selection for upcoming state elections

Umno Vice-President Johari Abdul Ghani has urged his party to announce its candidates for the upcoming six state elections early, allowing grassroots members ample time to accept the decision and prepare, as reported by Mingguan Malaysia. Speaking at the close of Umno’s general assembly, the Titiwangsa MP emphasised that election victory relies on three key factors: the party, its machinery, and the candidates. He stated that the decisive factor for victory depends on how well each of the three components collaborates.

Johari explained, “Three factors, namely the party, machinery and candidates are important entities if you want to win and they cannot be separated. If there is an element of dissatisfaction in the position of the machinery, it must be resolved quickly.” He noted that traditionally, Umno division chiefs would be among the candidates fielded in elections.

“There may be a division chief who works night and day but was suddenly not picked to become a candidate and feels disappointment over it. If he’s not disappointed, then maybe his machinery is. A new candidate comes in, but if they lose it’s not because they were not good but because the machinery was not organised properly,” Johari was quoted as saying.

He used former two-time Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as an example: “Like Tun Mahathir Mohamad who was Prime Minister for 22 years but in GE15, lost because of the party. Nobody knows Pejuang. If we take care of Barisan Nasional, that’s one of the factors for our victory.”

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Dr Mahathir, who was dismissed from Bersatu after GE14, later founded another party called Pejuang. He ran under it to defend his Langkawi parliamentary seat in last November’s general election but lost not only to Datuk Mohd Suhaimi Abdullah of Bersatu but also his US$2,400 election deposit.

In GE15, Barisan Nasional (BN) secured only 30 parliamentary seats out of the 178 it contested. Analysts have suggested that Umno’s poor performance in GE15 resulted from excessive friction within the party. This instability also indirectly contributed to Malay voters shifting their support to PAS, which is now part of the Perikatan Nasional coalition that includes Bersatu.

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Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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