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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 — Umno acting president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan today said that the party will form its own committee to research voters and collect data, in preparation for the 15th general election.
He said this was needed as Umno no longer has the privilege of using government research outfits.
In a Sinar Harian forum today, Mohamad said the move was imperative to allow Umno to prepare itself well, and not wait until Parliament is dissolved.
He also stressed the importance of listening to party members, and understanding issues at hand, before making any important decisions, such as election candidates.
“I have already asked to form a committee for us to face the 15th general election, from now.
“Last time, we always depended on the government. We had the government. We didn’t even have a data bank. The research was done by ISIS, by the EPU. Umno didn’t have anything. Today Umno falls, the next morning, we didn’t have anything. Not a data bank. Nothing,” he said referring to the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia and the Economic Planning Unit.
“Because all these while, we were too dependent on government. Umno was (the) government and government helped Umno so now, it’s difficult,” Mohamad said.
“We have to look up. We have to listen. Don’t think we are always right,” he said, adding that he gathered much information before deciding to take Cameron Highlands — once a MIC fort, and name a different candidate from Barisan Nasional (BN).
BN suffered its worst-ever election results on May 9 by garnering only 79 parliamentary seats against Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) 113 seats.
Its number has since dwindled to 44 after a series of defections. It also lost its decades-old vote banks; Sabah, Sarawak and Johor.