Umno’s leaders and warlords are delusional, says Daim
PETALING JAYA: Veteran politician Daim Zainuddin has denounced Umno as a party out of touch with political realities and led by people who are self-serving and delusional.
In an interview with FMT, he said the party had lost its appeal with the common people because it had failed to offer anything new or of substance.
“It has not shown it has learnt from history and its leaders still act as if they are in charge as warlords of the country,” he said.
“I think the rakyat is mature enough to see through these types of leaders, that their agenda is merely self-preservation.
“I do not believe that Umno, as a party, presently has any appeal for most people.”
Daim was Umno treasurer when Dr Mahathir Mohamad was its president in the 90s.
He was asked to comment on attempts by a group of Umno leaders to engineer the fall of Perikatan Nasional (PN) after helping it form the government with PAS and breakaway factions of PPBM and PKR.
Noting that the party was now embroiled in a fight with PPBM and PAS for the Malay ground, he said Umno seemed to be thinking it was the strongest.
“It thinks it is the strongest political party in the country at the moment. But what is this view based on? It is nothing more than posturing, and posturing among its so-called allies.”
He said Umno appeared to be confident that it could win a general election if one was called now. “Maybe it will do better than in the last general election, but can it win enough seats on its own to form a government? I don’t believe so.”
He spoke of disunity in Umno, saying the different factions had different reasons for wanting to leave PN and force a general election.
“These reasons have nothing to do with the welfare of the country,” he said. “If you read the opinions, comments and statements that are coming out, most would conclude that all are based on individual leaders’ personal agendas.
“There are many Umno ministers within the PN government now. How are they performing? They should use their appointments to prove themselves and work for the country and the people.”
Will Umno face deregistration in war with PPBM?
PETALING JAYA: Three years ago, Pakatan Harapan had tried to deregister Umno, by freezing its accounts and having its leaders investigated.
However, the party which was founded in 1946 was not deregistered as some were confident that it would self-destruct after more Umno MPs crossed over to PPBM under Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2018.
Two years down the road, Umno has survived. It has become part of the governing coalition by joining hands with PPBM and PAS to overthrow PH, in a move that saw several Umno leaders become ministers under the Perikatan Nasional coalition.
However, the honeymoon period between Umno and PPBM under Muhyiddin Yassin is over and they came to the brink of divorce after just six months in power last September. Umno made threats to withdraw support for Muhyiddin, who failed to share power with them.
Now, speculation has again surfaced that Umno may be deregistered after unconfirmed reports the party has had a secret bank account receiving donations since 1988.
Umno Supreme Council member Razlan Rafii has asked PPBM if there are threats to deregister Umno, after the explosive disclosure.
“Why are some in PPBM trying to interfere by asking the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to probe Umno’s so-called secret unaudited bank account?
“Let RoS do its job. This (interference) cannot happen without any planning (from PPBM insiders),” he told FMT.
According to him, the alleged account was said to have been created in 1988, when Mahathir was party president.
Razlan urged those in Umno close to PPBM and its party leaders to protect Umno.
“We helped PPBM to be part of the government. They should know the right thing to do now,” he said.
Umno’s alternative plans
An Umno source told FMT they had been hearing of plans to deregister Umno since the end of 2020.
“We feel some in PPBM will go to any extent to weaken us,” he told FMT. However, he said the party members are not backing off and are working on alternative plans to ensure the party contests in GE15.
“We need to be ready for any eventuality,” he said, warning that any move to deregister Umno would backfire on PPBM.
Such a move was likely to rile up the Malays, who would sympathise with the traditional party, seen as a defender of rural Malays, he said.
“It’s a brand. They are attached to the name. They will not let Umno wither and die just like that.”
The source said any move to ban Umno would actually mean half the battle won for the party, with more Malays backing it.
Furthermore, he said, the party could still contest under the Barisan Nasional banner which is a recognised logo as compared to PPBM or PN.
Last week, the existence of the alleged account with RM114.16 million was revealed by prosecutors in Putrajaya’s forfeiture suit against Obyu Holdings Sdn Bhd which was linked to 1MDB.
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