(September 18): Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin expressed worry tonight that the changing mindset among the majority Malays will cut the Barisan Nasional's (BN) popular vote in the next general election, and the ruling coalition could lose power in the future.
The deputy prime minister also said that Umno's easy period has gone by and the party now has to face the challenges of a changing mindset among the Malay community.
"The terrible losses in Selangor was not only unexpected but also sad.
"Johor used to be Umno's fortress but in the last general elections, the fortress was breached, 18 seats fell, that has never happened in history," Muhyiddin said when opening the Putrajaya Umno division meeting in Putrajaya tonight.
BN kept Putrajaya by winning 133 of the 222 federal seats in Election 2013 but their popular vote fell to 48% while Pakatan Rakyat (PR) took 51% of all the votes.
The deputy Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman admitted that there could be serious implications if Umno holds on to its old ways while the needs of the Malays have changed.
He added that despite all the assistance provided and policies implemented, the Malays are still not fulfilled and it would seem that all the benefits have made no impact on their lives.
"Instead, the people and various NGOs are more vocal than before, expressing their dissatisfaction with the government. It is clear now that the support for Umno has deteriorated.
"Under these circumstances, we must consider what needs to be done to maintain our power, not just for the future but forever. We must find ways to enhance our outreach to the Malay voters.
"It worries me when Malays are dissatisfied, because our role is to fight for the rights of the Malays," Muhyiddin said.
When speaking of the future and the challenges it will bring, he advised party leaders not to restrict younger members from moving up the ladder.
"These are tough times and we have to stay relevant. For that, we must accept renewal and act according to the times."
Meanwhile, Putrajaya Umno chief Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said despite BN's win in the home of the federal administration in the last elections, he feels that many civil servants are starting to turn away from Umno.
Maybe it is because of our own lack of approach or that we are not paying attention to the needs of civil servants that is causing this," he said.