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DAP told to let Umno do what it can to win over Malays
Published on: Wednesday, February 21, 2024
By: FMT, Ameer Fakhri
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DAP told to let Umno do what it can to win over Malays
An analyst says voters may turn to Perikatan Nasional if Umno appears weak and unable to criticise DAP. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: An analyst has urged DAP to let Umno win the backing of Malay voters for the unity government, citing the inability of component parties within Pakatan Harapan (PH) to garner the community’s support.

Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said DAP should acknowledge that PH could not have formed the unity government without the Malay votes brought in by Umno.

“Let Umno win over Malay voters, even if it means criticising DAP. It’s not Umno’s responsibility to cater to non-Malay voters.

“Unlike non-Malays, who do not have many other parties they can vote for, Malay voters have attractive alternatives.

“If Umno appears weak and unable to handle DAP, voters may turn to Perikatan Nasional (PN). This has already happened,” Azmi told FMT.

On Feb 14, Raub MP Chow Yu Hui from DAP cautioned Umno that it risks losing non-Malay voters if it continues its conservative approach.

The warning came after Umno expressed its opposition to a proposal by housing and local government minister Nga Kor Ming to nominate Selangor’s Chinese New Villages as world heritage sites.

Chow said Umno’s behaviour mirrored PN’s, and was unfavourable to non-Malay voters, especially DAP members.

Jeniri Amir, a fellow at the Council of Professors, said the survival strategies of both DAP and Umno are oriented towards ethnicity.

“DAP members advocate strongly for issues concerning the Chinese community, including cultural, linguistic, educational and economic matters.

“Similar to Umno, they defend themselves when the interests of the Chinese community are threatened, without considering the sentiments of Malays,” he said. As an example, he cited a suggestion by DAP’s Ngeh Koo Ham that non-Muslim constitutional experts be appointed to a shariah law committee.

Meanwhile, Mazlan Ali played down the possibility of non-Malay voters abandoning Umno if the party continues to prioritise the interests of Malay voters, citing the party’s track record.

He said Umno, traditionally considered a “tolerant” Malay party, would not have been able to govern for six decades prior to 2018 without the support of non-Malay voters.

“Umno’s downfall was not due to it being a conservative party, but rather the corruption scandals its leadership was involved in,” he told FMT.

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