No PM can survive without Umno grassroots support, says Isham

PETALING JAYA: No prime minister can remain in office without the support of Umno’s grassroots, a party leader said today.

It was important for Umno to clear out “traitors” within the party, or risk having an internal conflict, said Umno Supreme Council member Isham Jalil in an interview.

“There is no prime minister who will ever survive without Umno’s base (of supporters) and grassroots,” he said.

Not even Dr Mahathir Mohamad could remain in office after Pakatan Harapan’s 22 months in power, because he was disliked by Umno’s grassroots members.

“The same also applied to Muhyiddin Yassin, who only lasted 17 months,” he added.

He said it was best that the party be transparent with its grassroots about any internal matters or risk a repeat of the 1988 Umno crisis, when the party split between Mahathir, then president, and a faction led by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Isham said the coming months were crucial for the party after its former president Najib Razak was jailed late last month on corruption charges.

“We (Umno) must handle the situation delicately by prioritising our grassroots rather than the party’s own interests or the interests of those outside the party,” he said.

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