Will Bad Blood Between UMNO and DAP Make a Partnership Almost Impossible?

As the new year comes about, so does new politic feuds as seen recently with the alleged UMNO-DAP partnership to form a new government and several political leaders who have appeared on both sides of the feud.

Can UMNO and DAP really put aside their differences to unite though? Analysts interviewed by FMT have sme serious doubt about that and rightfully so based upon the history between the two.


After ousted BN- secretary-general, Annuar Musa had said that several supreme council members within UMNO had been in talks with DAP, prominent members Najib Razak and Lim Guan Eng had downplayed the statement, with Najib rejecting the idea completely while Guan Eng maintains that any cooperation should first be discussed by both the party leaders.

Azmi Hassan

According to academic Azmi Hassan, “blood runs deep” between the two and it would take a mighty effort from the UMNO leaders that Musa had mentioned about to convince their colleagues of the partnership with DAP.

“The leadership of both parties might be able to work together, but the same can’t be said for the grassroots. It’s up to the leaders to articulate the importance of this kind of partnership.” said Hassan when interviewed by FMT.

“If the grassroots put out a big ‘NO’ towards working with PPBM, it’s an even bigger ‘NO’ when it comes to DAP.”

James Chin

James Chin of the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute on the other hand, had dismissed the possibility entirely, citing that the differences between the two play a major part as to why it would not work.

“Talks will not lead to any agreement, ideologically they are too far apart. I doubt very much they can come together and actually form a government.

“DAP doesn’t believe in separating the country into bumiputera and non-bumiputera, but for Umno that is their minimum requirement for the country, to practice Malay supremacy,” he said.

Chin also added that UMNO would be abandoning their whole principle and ideology of Malay supremacy if they had chosen to partner with DAP.

Although bad blood, Azmi said that prior working relationship between PAS and DAP is reasons why the UMNO-DAP partnership shouldn’t be out of the question, but he ponders on the legality of the move by UMNO.

“Maybe Umno is trying to weaken Pakatan Harapan (PH). Maybe they have no intention of working with DAP. They just want to rattle PH and raise doubts about their cohesion. The possibility is there.

“Annuar’s bombshell will no doubt rattle Umno too, especially the president. In my opinion, Umno will face the most negative effects.”

Nonetheless, Azmi believes that such partnerships can be “momentous” and could be the key to patching up the often shaky relationship between Chinese and Malay communities.

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