UMNO number two Ahmad Zahid Hamidi admits it is a tall order for the party and the ruling coalition to regain the popular vote and the two thirds majority in Parliament.
Zahid, who is vice-president, said although these were difficult goals, Umno and the Barisan Nasional were committed to achieving them in the 14th general election.
Regaining majorities in the popular vote and parliament were important aims for Umno, said Zahid, who party president Najib Razak called his de-facto deputy president.
“They are important as we are in a position where we don’t have the popular vote. We are doing everything we can to achieve the aims,” Zahid told reporters after the opening of the assembly by Najib.
“Umno will focus on undecided voters and work with our (BN) component party members and others.
In the 12th general in 2008, BN lost its traditional two-thirds majority in parliament and the control of five state governments.
In the next election in 2013, it only managed to get 47% of the popular vote while rival Pakatan Rakyat garnered 52%.
Kelantan, Penang and Selangor remain under the control of Pakatan Rakyat parties.
Another party vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein, said Najib’s speech was a report card of the party’s achievements over the past five years which would be used to win over voters.
‘The people only have two choices, BN or the Opposition. So the president’s speech today was not just to spark their spirits but also a report card to members and to the public.
“Based on what was said, we hope the public will choose us.”
Najib’s opening speech at Umno’s last assembly before the 14th GE was dedicated to preparing his party for the polls.