THE Umno election machinery has to change its tactics and be ready to face the unexpected if the party and Barisan Nasional wish to remain in power, said Umno vice-president Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Zahid said Umno should have learnt a lesson from the last two elections when it lost its two-thirds majority in Dewan Rakyat and the popular vote to the opposition.
“They pulled out their trump card in the last two general elections at the very last minute and we were trapped. No one responded to their allegations. How to reply to the unexpected? We did not have any pre-emptive measures,”said Zahid.
Rumours went viral in the last two general elections that the government was rigging the election by various means to remain in power.
Zahid, who is deputising as the party No. 2 following Muhyiddin Yassin’s sacking, said the rumours had affected BN’s performance.
“Enough is enough. We should learn our lesson. We have to change and be prepared if we do not want to end up as a footnote in Malaysia’s history books,” said Zahid to a packed hall of the party’s information chiefs.
They were there this morning to attend the Information and Media (Penerangan dan Media) Convention” ahead of the Umno general assembly which begins tonight.
Zahid said Umno should also make full used of technology and social media to disseminate information to targeted groups.
“We can still talk to our members through talks but we also have to make use of the social media.
“Do you recall the opposition’s rally on October 14? Instead of (the targeted) 200,000 people, there were only about 8,000 who showed up. But don’t be fooled. The communication system has changed. The live event does not show huge turnout but those who watched it live could be in the millions. The issues mentioned (in the rally) went viral.”
He said events such as live broadcasts were now the trend,
“If conventional methods were used, they would not have the same effect.”
Umno information chief Annuar Musa and party vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein were also present.