Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan yesterday defended his party's cooperation with DAP, saying Malay-Muslim support for Umno had continued to fall despite decades of pushing an anti-DAP narrative.
Delivering his opening speech for the Umno wings in conjunction with the party's 2022 general assembly in Kuala Lumpur, Mohamad said Umno leaders must explain the decisions made in the wake of the 15th general election (GE15), especially the move to work with Pakatan Harapan (PH) in order to form the new government.
He also asked whether Umno's traditional stand against DAP had strengthened its Malay support or its position.
He said the answer to this had been clear in the results of the past few general elections.
"On the contrary, it declined," he said.
"Whether or not the Malays support Umno is clearly not because of our stance against DAP."
Instead, the Rembau MP said, Malay support hinged on Umno's ability to instil confidence in the community that their interests could be championed.
"Including by a government that is free from corruption and does not abuse power," he added.
"The yardstick of Malay support is integrity, competent administration, and our own performance.
"Not just whether we oppose the ideology of this or that party."
Mohamad's speech was a break with that of Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who said at the 2021 general assembly that the party strongly rejected any form of cooperation with PH and Bersatu for GE15.
The general assembly that year also agreed to cut ties with Perikatan Nasional.