KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — Umno’s alliance with PAS during the Sg Kandis by-election cost the party votes from both non-Malays and Malays, the party’s senator Khairul Azwan Harun said today.
In a statement, the former Umno Youth deputy chief warned the party against changing its “narrative to fit that of another party.”
PAS collaborated and made way for Umno to enable them to have a straight fight with Pakatan Harapan for the Sg Kandis seat, but the party still lost by a 5,842-vote majority with a low turnout of 49 percent.
“Clearly, even Malay supporters are turned off by a campaign that focuses on racial rhetoric,” he said.
Khairul Azwan referred to a report from Centre for Governance and Political Studies (CGPS), which had said that BN’s strategy of working with PAS was “faulty.”
In an analysis on the Sg Kandis by-election, CGPS said that despite the honeymoon period for Pakatan Harapan being over, BN and PAS’ rhetoric faced an even bigger rejection from voters.
“It may be time for BN and PAS to ease their Malay-centric rhetoric and perhaps focus on the middle ground, one that could potentially win back non-Malay voters,” it said.
“As it stands, and if things remain the same, the next by-election will produce the same results. A complete turn-around needs to happen either amongst the BN or PAS narrative. Transparency and accountability is the new hope in town whilst racialism is put with the old,” it added.