Mohamad Hasan's image may be in troubled waters after a recent string of events including the Umno deputy president's defence of his party's new-found ties with DAP and the motion allowing him to retain his post unchallenged when the Umno election is called.
Mohamad, popularly known as Tok Mat, was described as a hero after leading Umno to victory at a series of by-elections in 2019, when party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was on leave.
The Rembau MP was also credited with Barisan Nasional's (BN) landslide victories at the state elections in Melaka and Johor.
But analyst Kartini Aboo Talib of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia said several moves both before and after the Nov 19 polls last year had jeopardised Mohamad's image.
"Tok Mat is a politician who uses every opportunity he gets for survival," she said.
"So even cooperation with DAP is a strategic move for the party's interests."
Mohamad climbed the ranks in Umno after defeating Annuar Musa for the post of deputy president at the last party election.
He joined hands with Zahid, who replaced Najib as president after BN's historic defeat at the 2018 general election.
They retained their positions after the general assembly passed a motion for the top posts to go unchallenged.
But while Umno's decision to work with DAP had helped ensure its political survival, analyst Azizi Safar said it was seen by many Malays as a difficult pill to swallow.
"In terms of public perception, Tok Mat's image after the 2022 general assembly is not far off from Zahid's," he said.
"Both of them are seen as political individuals who prioritise their positions and office in government."
Mohamad said in his opening speech for the Umno wings that Malay-Muslim support for Umno had continued to fall despite decades of pushing an anti-DAP narrative.
"Whether or not the Malays support Umno is clearly not because of our stance against DAP," he said.
Political observer Mak Khuin Weng said Mohamad had never been a reformist.
"Tok Mat has always been cautious," he said.
"He goes with the flow. Even before this, in interviews where he was seen as criticising Zahid, he was quick to clarify what he meant."