Costly For Umno To Stay Silent In Parliament Say Analysts
Two analysts say Umno will lose the trust of its supporters by keeping silent in Parliament. (Bernama pic)PETALING JAYA: Analysts say it will be costly for Umno to remain silent in Parliament while their Pakatan Harapan contemporaries continue lashing out against the Perikatan Nasional government.
Awang Azman Pawi.Universiti Malaya’s Awang Azman Pawi and academic Azmi Hassan said the party stands to lose the trust of supporters by keeping quiet, especially when some have been so vocal against Putrajaya outside Parliament.
But talk is cheap, said Azmi, adding that Umno needed to step up to the plate and be more vocal about its views on the government’s performance.
“As the Malays say, ‘Cakap tak serupa bikin’. You talk outside Parliament as though you’re very anti-government, but when you’re in Parliament, you’re so quiet. So, Umno needs to step up,” he told FMT.
Azmi Hassan.Awang Azman warned that Umno’s influence among the people could diminish if it kept the silent act up for the rest of the five-day meeting, even hindering the party’s recovery process.
But, he said, Umno’s “elegant silence” in the Dewan Rakyat was probably to avoid confusion between the party being against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin alone or the entire PN government.
“The ‘Umno president cluster’ have their own ways of criticising the prime minister’s leadership so they do not seem to be openly against PN in the Dewan Rakyat,” he said.
Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs said yesterday’s silence was a missed opportunity for Umno to speak up in Parliament, while the opposition had a field day in the lower house.
Oh Ei Sun.He told FMT that Umno MPs were “confused” and did not know what to do, especially since their party said it had withdrawn support for Muhyiddin but was still supporting the PN government.
“What does that mean? It’s very confusing because, constitutionally, the government is the prime minister and the prime minister is the government. How do you oppose the prime minister but support the government?
“I think Umno MPs were, frankly, very confused, coupled with the fact that their ministerial colleagues were obviously supporting the government while the party leadership was dilly-dallying there,” he said.
While some Umno leaders had drawn criticism for failing to criticise the government in Parliament despite being critical of the administration on social media, Najib Razak told critics and supporters to wait for his turn to be in action on Wednesday.
He defended himself against criticism of his apparent silence, saying he was not usually the noisy one in Parliament “like Jelutong MP RSN Rayer and Khalid Samad of Shah Alam”.
“Wait for my turn to be in action on Wednesday. I guarantee that it will be extraordinary,” he said in a Facebook post yesterday. - FMT
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