Amanah needs new way to woo Malays, observers say

Diyana Ibrahim

Observers say Amanah must strengthen its position among Malays before the next general election. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, December 27, 2023.

AMANAH must employ a new strategy to attract Malay votes for Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the next general election (GE), experts and party grassroots said.

They said this was possible as a third of the party committee were youth with new ideas.

Universiti Malaya political lecturer Awang Azman Awang Pawi said new Amanah leaders must work based on the 2022 GE and the August state election results.

He said the party must consider its subpar performance in polls.

“Amanah must be more aggressive in campaigning to repel the opposition’s narrative, not just when the election is near. It has to be done from now,” he said.

The party polls at the recent Amanah National Convention saw Mohamad Sabu reappointed president for his third and last term.

The appointment was made by the national committee, whose 27 members were elected by more than 1,000 delegates on Sunday. It made Mujahid Yusof deputy president.

The three new vice-presidents were Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, former Selangor exco Siti Mariah Mahmud, and Deputy Defence Minister Adly Zahari.

Mujahid was previously touted as Mohamad’s replacement.

Awang Azman said Amanah’s decision to retain Mohamad as president for another term was to strengthen harmony within the party and the unity government.

He said the party election indicated a clash between two Amanah factions – Mohamad’s supporters and Mujahid’s.

He said Mujahid was named deputy president to strengthen the party despite Dzulkefly getting the highest number of votes.

Younger leaders

Amanah Youth treasurer Sheikh Khuzaifah Sheikh Abu Bakar was confident the new leadership, combined with the more experienced seniors, would strengthen the party before the GE.

He said though the party might seem to be maintaining the status quo, a third of the committee were aged below 50.

Among them are former Permatang Pasir assemblyman and lawyer Faiz Fadzil, Hulu Langat MP Mohd Sany Hamzan and lawyer Abang Ahmad Kerdee Abang Masagus.

“This younger leadership will bring Amanah closer to voters aged below 40 – who made up 58% of the last GE’s voters.”

A Kelantan Amanah representative, who remained anonymous, said the new leadership must work hard to regain Malay support, especially in rural, Malay-majority areas.

He was confident Amanah’s cooperation with Barisan Nasional and especially Umno could return Malay support to PH.

“If this unity is strengthened, this unity government may continue to lead Putrajaya after the next GE,” he said. – December 27, 2023.

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