KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 ― Controversial Umno leader Datuk Seri Jamal Md Yunos has criticised his own party’s campaign in the Sungai Kandis by-election as outdated and lacking originality, Malay daily Sinar Harian reported today.
The party’s Sungai Besar division chief said the polls result showed Umno’s attempt to court support by vilifying the Pakatan Harapan administration had failed to gain traction.
“It’s an early signal, even though the voter turnout was poor and PH had decreased votes, that is not the issue. To me how Barisan Nasional campaign must change,” he was quoted saying.
“I saw that the methods employed in the campaign were dated, but people want to see something original so that we can be a strong and effective opposition,” he added.
Jamal then called on the party leadership to reassess its performance and rework its approach to campaigning.
“The strategies must be fine-tuned so that voters will again view Umno and BN as the best party, then only will we get their support,” he said.
PKR defeated Umno in the Sungai Kandis by-election, though with a far lower majority caused in part by poor voter turnout at the polls.
PKR’s Mohd Zawawi Ahmad Mughni racked up 15,427 votes to best his closest rival in a three-way contest, Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Lokman Noor Adam by a majority of 5,842 votes. Lokman got 9,585 votes. A total of 25,282 votes were casted that day.
Political observers said Umno’s campaign in the by-election was highly racialised.
The tactic drew criticism even from within the party, including from former minister Khairy Jamaluddin who said Umno’s defeat reflected a growing rejection towards communal politics.