For Umno, the biggest hurdle to victory at the 13th general election is the perception that it is a corrupt and elitist party that practises cronyism, its secretary-general said today.
Datuk Tengku Adnan Mansor told state news agency Bernama that it will be tough to fix the misperception because many of Umno’s critics were disgruntled partymen who chose to break away and form their own splinter groups, like PAS and PKR.
“The problem we are facing is perception. After we won the 2004 general elections, probably we were negligent until the opposition succeeded in labelling Umno a crony party, elitists, corrupt and all sorts,” he was reported saying.
While Tengku Adnan did not name anyone directly, he was likely referring to Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who had a promising career in Umno that rocketed him to the country’s second most important position until he was sacked from government in 1998, triggering a group of his supporters to form a splinter party called Keadilan.
PAS, an Islamist party that has made religion its main agenda, was founded in 1956 and had been a part of the ruling federal coalition between 1974 and 1978.
Both teamed up with the secular DAP to form an opposition pact they call Pakatan Rakyat (PR) shortly after their landmark gains in Election 2008.
The Putrajaya MP told the wire news service that although both he and party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak were working to fix the lopsided image, it was proving to be tough as there was still some former members who held a strong grudge against Umno.
“Umno is a political party, we never promise richness [sic]. This we have stressed,” Tengku Adnan, popularly called Ku Nan, was reported saying.
“It’s tough to repair if he is still resentful and has grudges. This is the hardest. We are still in the restoration stage to correct the situation,” he added, according to an extract of the transcript published by the news wire agency.
He also blamed the widespread negative perception of Umno with some within its ranks who had painted a false and distorted image of the party having promised largess to individuals instead of the public good.
“Probably the view brought by the Umno person is wrong,” he said, adding that it was not easy to face people with desires and who had egos.
He reminded Umno members that the party not only represented the Malay community but encompassed the entire Malaysian society at large.
Tengku Adnan told Bernama that he could see voters were becoming increasingly turned off by online news coverage and were returning to the mainstream media to get their regular news fix, saying this was eroding society’s trust in electronic and social media.
He said that while Umno has its own “cybertroopers”, the party has always urged them to report only the truth and nothing defamatory, suggesting that other online news sources were unreliable.
The 60-year-old federal lawmaker was also asked to weigh in on party members who wanted the BN coalition to announce early the list of candidates for the next general election.
He told Bernama that, personally, he agreed that it was a good idea as it would enable those contesting to better prepare themselves and avoid the last minute chaos.
But he said the decision lay with the party presiden
Most people had confirmed most unmos' political opportunists are corrupted, arrogance,dirty, racist & biggest liars in Malaysia.
Perception seems to be UMNO leaders' favourite word of late.It is a well known fact that majority of Malaysians know too well of UMNO's corruptions,cronyisms, and power abuses.I am advising Adnan not to take Malaysians as fools.
We can see with our own eyes. Now I can see why UMNO/BN ejection from Putrajaya is nearer than I thought. Even people like you who are suppose to be the eyes and ear of UMNO cannot come to term with your own decay.
UMNO lives money and corruption. UMNO even has corrupt practices which they call money politics during every party election! Ali Rustam was found guilty of money politics and he is still the CM!! Get real BUMNO it is not perception it is fact!!