KUALA LUMPUR: The new Umno Supreme Council appointed for the 2023-2026 term is seen to be able to provide stability to the Unity Government led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, say political analysts.
According to Prof Dr Azmi Hassan of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, this is because there is no denying that the majority of the new lineup is from the group supporting Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pix), who is also the Deputy Prime Minister.
“When the president gets the support from the vice presidents, Supreme Council and wing leaders, it certainly makes it easier for the president to carry out his plans, which will indirectly have an effect on the Unity Government, even though not all Umno MPs are in the leadership.
“And more importantly, almost 30 per cent or 54 new faces who were elected as Umno Division leaders, who succeeded in defeating the former chiefs, show that the grassroots want a fresh leadership in Umno,“ he told Bernama.
He also expected that with the new Umno leadership, internal problems such as bickering and sabotage which previously gave the party a bad image, would not recur.
“Previously, the Umno leadership could not concentrate on the essentials such as strengthening the party, because of internal problems, but if this matter can be overcome with the new leadership, it is not impossible that more strategies can be put in place to restore Umno’s reputation,“ he said.
Similarly, a political analyst from Universiti Utara Malaysia, Prof Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani believes that the Umno leadership that was elected this time can strengthen the party, which in turn will determine the stability of the Unity Government.
“The results of the party elections give a clear message that elements that want to challenge the government and break the party from the outside have been rejected,“ he said.
“Because of that, they (the new lineup) need to quickly put together new strategies, one of which is to face the upcoming elections in six states,“ said Mohd Azizuddin, who is confident that Umno still has the support of the people.
Meanwhile, political analyst Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian from Universiti Sains Malaysia opined that although the majority of the new leadership in Umno is said to be from the president's team, some of those who lost were also appointed.
“This shows that Ahmad Zahid has a big heart to appoint those who have lost, such as Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, meaning it is important for the survival of the party so that there is no division, thus impacting the strengthening of the Unity Government.
“So, whoever is appointed or elected is seen as capable of shouldering the responsibility towards strengthening efforts, which is an important phase for Umno, furthermore after losing in the 15th General Election,“ he said.
In last Saturday's party elections, Mahdzir lost in the vice-presidential race while Shahrizat failed to return as Wanita chief after last holding the position in 2018.
The three vice president seats contested were won by Pahang Umno chief Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail; Federal Territories Umno chief Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani; and Johor Umno chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
Yesterday, Ahmad Zahid announced the appointment of 13 new Umno Supreme Council members for the 2023-2026 term, including Shahrizat, Tan Sri Mohamad Fatmi Che Salleh, Datuk Ahmad Ismail, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Shafei Abdullah.
Also appointed were Datuk Hasmuni Hassan, Datuk Mohd Hasnol Ayub, Datuk Mohd Faizal Ramli, Datuk Mohd Ariff Abdul Majid, Datuk Seri Jailani Johari, Datuk Norliza Abdul Rahim, Mohd Hairi Mas Shah and Siti Sokhleha Nordin. -Bernama