News analysis

Umno chief's desperation shows in proposal for merger with PAS

But attempt to restore party to glory days not gaining traction

Last weekend's proposal of a merger with an ambivalent Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) by Umno chief Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reflects his desperation to deliver a fillip to his once grand old party, which lost its six-decade grip on power after a shock defeat at the May 9 polls.

Umno was quick to remove scandal-tainted former party leader and premier Najib Razak in the aftermath of the poll loss, but critics say his successor has so far failed to implement the reforms necessary to return the party to its glory days.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2018, with the headline 'Umno chief's desperation shows in proposal for merger with PAS'. Print Edition | Subscribe