Infighting in UMNO may impact outcome of Malaysia’s 15th General Election

Infighting in UMNO may impact outcome of Malaysia’s 15th General Election


Observers said that while the race remains too close to predict, infighting among UMNO remains a key issue troubling the BN coalition.

Mr Ibrahim Suffian, programme director at the Merdeka Centre, said that Mr Ahmad Zahid had dropped many “long-standing leaders and stalwarts of the party” who were seen to be allies of PM Ismail Sabri, along with those who have been critical of Mr Zahid’s leadership over the last couple of years.

“But the removal of these candidates, I think, created some problems on the ground, in part because they were replaced by newer, younger leaders, and that may precipitate internal sabotage,” said Mr Ibrahim.

UMNO is also facing potential backlash from the public, dissatisfied with the party’s calling of the election amid the monsoon season and uncertain economic conditions.

Mr Ibrahim said that while inflation and the overall economic climate is foremost on the minds of voters, political uncertainty is also a concern.

UMNO has triggered several state elections in the past year, he said, while recent developments leading up to the dissolution of parliament have created the impression that the party is pushing its agenda – without much regard for the public’s concern about economic stability.

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