KUALA LUMPUR: Umno and PAS should maintain both parties' ideological differences but can cooperate in legislative and policy matters where both share interests in.
This was the opinion of Senator Khairul Azwan Harun who took to Twitter to express his thoughts after the conclusion of two by-elections last Saturday.
He remarked the most crucial take away from the by-elections was that the PAS and Umno election pact was not effective.
"The rakyat don't want an opposition that openly focuses on Malay and Islam. That has never been how Umno won elections in the past. We need to revisit our moderate and centries ways, ones that earned respect from non-Malays, not fear," he said in a statement shared on his Twitter account.
"Umno's identity is distinct, we were founded on cooperative and moderate principles, not-far right politics," he added.
The Umno Supreme Council member, following the two by-elections; Seri Setia and Balakong, and Sungai Kandis in August, said the results looked dimmer for Umno.
"The honeymoon period for Pakatan Harapan (PH) is over, the pullback effect was supposed to have begun," he said.
Citing issues such as the implementation of the Sales and Services Tax (SST), higher cost of living and underperforming ministers, Khairul Azwan said these were supposed to have been a factor, and yet Umno still did not manage to win.
With all three by-elections recording low voter turnout, Khairul Azwan said the matter should have helped Umno.
"Our machinery worked hard, one we've been relying on for years, was unsuccessful, again," he said.
In the Sungai Kandis by-election, Umno's Datuk Lokman Noor Adam lost to PH's Zawawi Ahmad Mughni.
As for Seri Setia, Umno opted to sit the by-election out and give way to PAS who fielded Dr Halimah Ali. Halimah lost to PH's Halimey Abu Bakar.
In Balakong, MCA's Tan Chee Teong lost to PH's Wong Siew Ki. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd