ISMAIL SABRI & MUHYIDDIN RECEIVE THEIR POLITICAL COFFINS FROM ZAHID – WITHOUT LOVE! – ONLY 6 OUT OF 190 UMNO DIVISIONS WANT PARTY POLLS BEFORE GE15, WARNS ZAHID – EVEN MUHYIDDIN’S PRIZED GRS IN SABAH MAY EVAPORATE IF THEY DON’T TOE THE BN LINE

Only 6 Umno divisions want party polls first, says Zahid

PETALING JAYA: Only 6 out of 190 divisions are keen to hold party polls before the next general election (GE15), party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said tonight.

He said the figure was based on reports sent by Umno divisions to party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

He was replying to a question on whether internal party elections will be held before the next general election.

There has been speculation that Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s camp in Umno may want party polls to be held first, as a way to replace Zahid with Ismail.

Zahid said Perikatan Nasional (PN) and the present government do not have a mandate from the rakyat, and this caused political instability and indirectly affected the economy and foreign investment.

He said the present government was still a “PN 2.0” as it is made up of the former component members. “The present government is led by an Umno leader (Ismail) but it is not a Barisan Nasional (BN) government,” he said.

Zahid, who is the Bagan Datuk MP, said the Registrar of Societies had given Umno until Dec 29 this year to hold its party elections, while its postponed 2021 annual general assembly will be held on March 16.

Asked if Umno would cooperate with any party after the general election, Zahid said it was possible, but the other party must be sincere and the cooperation must benefit both parties.

Zahid said the general election would feature “winnable, acceptable and likeable” Umno candidates, to attract the 5.8 million young voters aged 18 to 21 years.

At the Melaka state elections last year, BN had placed 87% new candidates, 82% of whom were 50 and below.

“(The candidate selection) will not be based on cable (who knows who),” he added.

He was also asked if Umno would work with Gabungan Rakyat Sabah. Zahid said Umno Sabah has autonomy to decide on the matter but they understand that their loyalty is with BN.

Further pressed if that meant Umno would reject cooperation with GRS, Zahid replied: “If you understand me, that’s what it would seem to be.”  FMT

Ismail likely to be just a temporary PM, says analyst

PETALING JAYA: Ismail Sabri Yaakob is unlikely to move beyond being a temporary prime minister as he lacks the vision and charisma to chart the nation’s future, says a political analyst.

Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs said Ismail was a caretaker prime minister at best and predicted that the Umno vice-president would only remain in the top post until the next general election (GE15).

“This administration has been a weak and somewhat reluctant marriage of political convenience from the very onset. As such, it is quite commonplace that members or powerful advisers of the administration would feel free to voice their opinions.

Oh Ei Sun.

“They can do so with political impunity since their consequential dismissal from the government would likely also spell the start of the administration’s end,” he said, referring to Najib Razak’s outspoken criticism of Putrajaya’s SOPs for Thaipusam celebrations.

Ismail’s human resources minister M Saravanan had also criticised the SOPs, warning that it had further eroded the Indian community’s trust in the government. The prime minister did not show up for the celebrations at Batu Caves, although Najib was there.

Oh said that Ismail, although he is prime minister, had not managed to garner a greater level of grassroot support than that enjoyed by Najib or Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“Najib has solid aristocratic and Malay credentials that allow him to freely reach out to other communities without eroding his Malay base. This is something that Ismail can only envy from afar,” he said.

Ismail should count himself lucky that he even became prime minister and enjoy his “numbered days in power” as much as he can.

Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid.

Universiti Sains Malaysia analyst Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid said Ismail needed to do more to connect with non-Malay communities. The prime minister was acting more like a politician when he should be a statesman, he said.

Fauzi acknowledged that Ismail’s political survival would be the priority for now, though his “Keluarga Malaysia” (Malaysian Family) brand had been negatively affected.

Nonetheless, he did not see Ismail getting upstaged by the likes of Najib.

“Ismail has always had this Malay-centric image. The more liberal Najib is helping Barisan Nasional build bridges with non-Malays in a way that Ismail cannot,” Fauzi said. FMT

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