PARTI Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) is no threat to Umno as it lacks charismatic leaders, said Umno supreme council member Nazri Aziz.
In an exclusive interview with The Star ahead of the Umno General Assembly next month, Nazri said Malays had traditionally voted for a Malay-based party, the choices of which were Umno and Islamist PAS.
It was important for newly formed parties to have charismatic leaders, he said, adding that Bersatu chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad lacked a clear political vision.
Nazri said the Bersatu leadership were made of “recycled leaders” from Umno plagued by “past misdeeds”.
“When you form a new party, the most important thing is that you must have charismatic leaders, like PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim.
“His son Mukhriz (Mahathir) and Muhyiddin Yassin are not charismatic leaders,” he said.
Mukhriz is Bersatu deputy president while Muhyiddin is the president.
“If we are talking about parties giving us a real fight in the upcoming GE, I would say DAP, PAS, and PKR,” he said.
DAP, PKR and Bersatu, along wth PAS splinter party Amanah make up the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan.
Nazri, however, dismissed Bersatu as a “non-factor”. He also took a dig at its youth wing, saying the party had problems even getting Amanah registered with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
Nazri said PKR might be a threat to Umno after PAS’ exit from the now-defunct Pakatan-Rakyat in 2015.
“It’s no longer safe since PAS is out of Pakatan Rakyat. If PKR comes in, the rural constituencies will no longer be Umno’s stronghold.
Nazri said Barisan Nasional leaders should learn from US President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign strategy.
Nazri said Trump won the US election last year because Americans wanted leaders that focus on issues that were of concern to the people.
“People are not interested in national issues. Instead, they want a government that works for them.
“That’s why Trump won, because Americans are just fed up with their past presidents who seem to be very intellectual but don’t go down to the ground,” Nazri told The Star.
The Padang Rengas MP said the Padang Rengas Umno division was set to table a motion in the upcoming Umno General Assembly to ensure that the top two positions in the party remained uncontested.
Nazri said the move was to maintain unity within the party in preparation for the 14th General Election (GE14).