In a significant reshuffle within the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), two new appointments have been announced for the positions of Chairman of the UMNO Liaison Body for Terengganu and Johor. The announcement was made by UMNO General Secretary, Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, on a social media platform.
UMNO Terengganu Welcomes a New Chairman
Datuk Rozi Mamat, the former State Assemblyman for Telemong and Secretary of UMNO Terengganu, has been appointed as the new Chairman of the UMNO Liaison Body for Terengganu. He replaces Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Said, whose resignation follows significant electoral defeats for the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. Prior to these developments, internal party reports had already hinted at Ahmad Said passing the baton to Rozi Mamat due to the weakening position of UMNO Terengganu since the state election in August.
UMNO Johor Sees Leadership Change
Simultaneously, the Chief Minister of Johor, Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, has been appointed as the Chairman of the UMNO Liaison Body for Johor. This change of guard comes amidst the party's struggle to regain its footing after the recent electoral setbacks. The call for Ahmad Said's resignation was amplified after all 32 BN candidates lost in the state election and BN's defeat in all eight contested parliamentary seats during the 15th General Election.
PAS Retains Kemaman Seat
In the recent Kemaman parliamentary by-election, PAS candidate Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar retained the seat with a majority of 37,220 votes, defeating BN's candidate General (R) Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor. This defeat added further fuel to the calls for leadership change within UMNO.
The Future of UMNO
These political changes within UMNO come at a critical juncture as the party grapples with dwindling support. UMNO leaders and analysts have echoed former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed’s projection that the party may face extinction in the 16th general election if the loss of Malay support continues. The party's survival now depends on its ability to regroup, reinvent, and re-engage with its support base. These new appointments signal the party's intent to start afresh and redefine its political strategies.