A political observer says the relationship between Umno and DAP grassroots remains clouded despite calls by top leaders from both parties for mutual support between the long-time foes ahead of critical elections to be held in six states this year.
Umno and DAP put aside decades of hostility to join hands in the wake of last year's general election, where no single party won enough support to form the government on its own.
Ties have appeared fragile, with both sides taking potshots over issues such as Umno's bid to obtain a royal pardon for its jailed leader, Najib Razak.
But with elections looming in Selangor, Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan, Kedah and Terengganu, party leaders have been urging members and voters alike to throw their support behind whichever candidate is fielded, despite years of campaigning against one another.
Azizi Safar, a former executive secretary for Penang Barisan Nasional, said the calls from the top would not necessarily resonate through the ranks.
Speaking to MalaysiaNow, he added that Umno's ties with DAP had yet to materialise at the grassroots level.
"There have been no programmes specifically for the Umno grassroots to explain why they need to work with DAP and support DAP candidates at the state elections," he said.
Ahmad Maslan was among the Umno leaders who had urged members to vote for DAP candidates for the sake of strengthening the "unity government", a term used to describe the administration led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi meanwhile said it was "difficult but not impossible" to change the attitude of the party's supporters towards DAP.
DAP publicity secretary Teo Nie Ching likewise urged party members to support Umno candidates, while DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke said it was logical for parties in the coalition government to support each other.
But Azizi said the response of the grassroots towards Ahmad's call remained cool.
"Many also disagree with the appeal to support DAP," he said.
If the situation could not be taken in hand, he added, there would be negative effects on Umno.
"If Umno members do not support DAP's candidates at the state elections, it is not such a big problem that DAP's candidates will lose," he said.
"But if DAP supporters decide not to vote for Umno candidates in Malay-majority seats, these candidates could lose."
In fact, Azizi said, DAP supporters could become the determining factor in whether Umno wins or loses given the split in Malay vote seen at the last general election, where a large number of voters swung towards Perikatan Nasional.