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Stop pointing fingers, we did well, says Zahid loyalist Azalina

The Umno information chief cites a 0.25% difference in popular votes between Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional on one side, and Perikatan Nasional.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Umno information chief Azalina Othman Said (left) with Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (centre). Photo: Bernama
Umno information chief Azalina Othman Said (left) with Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (centre). Photo: Bernama

Umno information chief Azalina Othman Said has called for an end to "finger pointing" in the wake of calls urging for heads to roll from the party following another round of electoral thrashing it suffered over the weekend.

Azalina, a staunch supporter of Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said the outcome of the elections, which saw a status quo of Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) retaining their state governments in six states, was actually favourable to the federal alliance made up of PH and Barisan Nasional (BN).

She said this was because PN was "17,000 votes behind" PH-BN in terms of some 6.8 million total popular votes for the two sides.

The difference in popular votes received by PH-BN and PN was about 0.25%.

"The short period of eight months since the BN-PH unity coalition was formed after spending decades in elections as political rivals was the first test of the coalition's mutual understanding, but it passed with success," said the law minister.

At the six state polls on Aug 12, Umno, which was the sole party to represent BN, was wiped out in Kedah and Terengganu, while winning only two seats in Penang and Selangor and one seat in Kelantan. The party only shined in Negeri Sembilan, winning 14 seats.

Overall, Umno won just 19 of the 108 seats it contested, with Malay voters seen overwhelmingly rejecting BN candidates in all six states.

Umno also won just two seats in Selangor, despite expectations that the party could deliver Malay seats to the PH-led state government.

It prompted Selangor Umno treasurer Tengku Zafrul Aziz to warn the party against chasing after "short-term power".

"The Selangor state election seems to show that the more Malay voters there are in an area, the more difficult it is for Umno to win," said Zafrul.

"If the results of this state election aren't a final warning of its survival as a party for the Malays, I don't know what warning should be given to make us realise that we have been rejected."

Azalina, however, expressed confidence that Umno's cooperation with PH would improve in time for the next elections.

Her statement came two days after she mocked voters in Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu for choosing to remain with PN.

Wishing the voters "good luck", she said it seemed that nothing could be done to convince them to change the state governments.

"For an eight-month-old government, to make babies also it takes nine months," she said in a short video clip that has gone viral.

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