UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has dismissed the need to conduct a referendum to gauge the party’s cooperation with DAP.
The deputy prime minister was commenting on the call by Umno supreme council member Isham Jalil on the matter recently.
“Why must there be a referendum? For what?” he said.
Meanwhile, two Umno leaders said the party should carry out reforms first instead of making DAP, its rival-turned-ally, a scapegoat for Umno’s disastrous outings in recent elections.
An Umno Youth leader who wished to remain anonymous said it was time the party “fixed its own issues”.
At the last general election (in November last year), it was proven that Umno was rejected by the Malays, although the party wasn’t working with DAP then,” he told FMT.
The party won only 26 of 120 seats that it contested under the Barisan Nasional banner at the general election and were rivals with Pakatan Harapan, comprising DAP, PKR and Amanah.
“We can’t talk about what’s happening outside our party when we have internal issues to resolve,” he said.
He acknowledged that there were grassroot members, especially in the rural areas, who were uncomfortable with Umno’s alliance with DAP, reflected in Umno’s defeats in rural seats.