Umno not badly affected by Tajuddin’s allegations, say analysts

PETALING JAYA: Allegations by Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman will not break Umno, but the party still needs to collectively deal with it, say political analysts.

Senior fellow at the Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research (NASR) Dr Azmi Hassan said Tajuddin’s accusations against Umno and its president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would only tarnish his own reputation.

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He added that this was due to the public opinion on Tajuddin that was already bad and the public would only see his claims as reactions towards his dismissal from the party’s supreme council.

“Most probably, people would analyse that he was very angry and upset about his dismissal (from the supreme council).

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“Tajuddin is a ‘walking-blooper’, especially during his tenure as Prasarana Malaysia Berhad chairman.

“People will not give any credit to his latest accusations. And it’s unbecoming for an appointed ambassador to trash internal party problems in the public sphere,” he told The Star.

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Azmi added that the accusations would not hurt Umno and Ahmad Zahid, saying, “it will come to nothing.”

“His claim that more than 100 Umno divisions want Ahmad Zahid to step down has to be proven, whether it’s true or not,” he said.

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The analyst added that Umno, as an organisation, should strategically not respond to Tajuddin’s allegations, and instead let the leaders come out and defend the party.

Another political analyst, Prof Sivamurugan Pandian concurred by saying that Umno must now find a unifying factor so that the allegations would not rattle the party’s preparation for the 15th General Election.

He added that the claims revealed by Tajuddin were mostly not new, especially in regards to the factionalism in the party.

“What is important for Umno right now is for them to find the unifying factor so that the issue won’t prolong and affect their preparation for the general election.

“The party leadership might have already known that Tajuddin would react in a way that could damage the party’s reputation. Umno needs to stay united and avoid more factions from emerging,” he said.

Prof Sivamurugan added that despite the public image towards Tajuddin being on the negative side, what he had spilled probably had some truths that could affect the party’s image.

However, he said the public might question the ousted Umno supreme council member on the timing he has chosen to spill the beans.

“He might have some truth but why now? Why not earlier?” he added.

The party’s reputation now depends on how Umno’s swift action towards the “damage” Tajuddin has caused, he added.

Sociopolitical analyst Prof Dr Awang Azman Pawi from Universiti Malaya said the attack by Tajuddin towards the Umno president was personal and using irrelevant stories that people were already aware of.

He said Tajuddin’s tactic of splitting the party into factions was the final resort after previous attempts to sideline Ahmad Zahid and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had failed.

“There is no permanent enemy in politics, what remains is interest.

“This can be seen when there was an effort to crack Umno from within so that Najib and Ahmad Zahid are not together, which would make it easier for their opponents to control the party,” he added.

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