KUALA LUMPUR – December 7, 2017: Veteran Umno campaigners have reminded party leaders that the strategy for the next general elections (GE14) must be all-encompassing.
Wooing youths, consoling veteran supporters and avoiding the use of racially provocative sentiments are the must-do aspects that they think should be the core of Barisan Nasional’s electoral campaign.
Bentong Wanita member Rodziah Abdul Halim, said the use of racially offensive propaganda would be bad for Umno, given the current political landscape in which Pribumi Bersatu has touted itself as Umno’s equivalent in the opposition.
Rodziah, who has been actively studying the behaviour of voters, acknowledges that the existence of Pribumi Bersatu has to a certain extent dented Umno’s clout among the Malays.
“Every vote counts, regardless of race or religion. The leaders need to tell other members that they must not say or do anything that can upset the non-Malays.
“Some say we can still win without non-Malay votes. It may be true but a hair’s breadth victory in the next elections will send a convincing message to the opposition that they are getting stronger,” said the grandmother of five.
Another Wanita member, Kamilah Mahadzir from Pendang, feels that the Youth and Puteri sections need to intensify their youth-wooing campaigns.
“Whenever we reach out to them, they think we’re nagging them,” she quipped, “But I don’t blame them because the generational gap is too big.”
Kamilah observes that while the two wings aren’t exactly twiddling their thumbs, their campaigns however are a tad out of touch with today’s youths.
“I think today’s youths are more interested in their smartphones and video games compared to futsal matches. So why can’t Pemuda Umno (Umno Youth) organise a video game competition instead?”
Where Kamilah is worried about the youths’ supposed lack of interest in Umno, 72-year-old Abdul Malik Iskandar from Bera is more concerned with the feelings of veteran Umno supporters.
“The ones who have merajuk (sulked and feel slighted) told me that they feel as if the party has given them a cold shoulder and taken them for granted simply because they think that we are their fixed deposit,” said Malik.
He pointed out that in Bera there are over 10,000 veteran Umno supporters who makes up almost 20 per cent of voters in the area, so to lose even a quarter of them could spoil Umno’s chances of winning the parliamentary constituency; especially so given the existence of Pribumi Bersatu.
“Old timers like us are not that difficult to please…. just invite us to some majlis keramaian (festivities), make us feel welcomedand you’ll probably get our vote,” he hinted.