Malaysia: Umno still rudderless under Zahid, sources say

  • UMNO’s direction is still unclear even though its president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has gone around the country to explain the party’s position since it lost power in GE14, party grassroots said.
  • They said Zahid had formed many committees to revive Umno but there was still no clear direction. The party was just doddering along without a helmsman, they said, because its leader had not shown members a clear direction.
  • Despite being popularly voted in as president, Zahid has not been able to control the party five months after taking over from his predecessor, former prime minister Najib Razak.
  • Several Umno MPs have since quit the party, with a few joining Umno splinter party Bersatu.
  • It also appears that some Umno leaders are not on the same page as Zahid, showing further signs that the opposition leader has failed to control his party and BN.
  • While Zahid had urged Umno members to join this the anti-International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) in Kuala Lumpur on 8 Dec 18, BN secretary-general Nazri Abdul Aziz, who is also from Umno, said he was sitting out.
  • Nazri, who was appointed to the BN post by Zahid, said there was no need to attend the rally because the government was not ratifying the UN convention anymore, adding that he was very happy of the decision.
  • An Umno MP, who declined to be named, said he was tired of waiting for Zahid to show where the party and BN are headed, such as with the shadow cabinet which appears not to be performing at all.
  • He said some MPs had tried to talk to party secretary-general Annuar Musa but their grouses and complaints fell on deaf ears.
  • Meanwhile, an Umno division leader, who was met during one of Zahid’s roadshow programmes, said discussions were only held between the party president and those close to him. This caused unhappiness among other MPs and division leaders who point to the still-prevalent warlord culture within the party.

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