‘We can’t win big’ Ismail Sabri warned Umno leadership but they insisted on GE15

SHAH ALAM – Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob says he has warned Umno leadership of the party’s possible big loss during the 15th General Election (GE15).

In an episode of Fireside Chat with Sinar Daily, he said he had explained the risks of dissolving the Parliament as the party was not prepared for GE15.

“The party knew that the risk of Umno losing was very high because I had said so in the Supreme Council Meeting,” the former prime minister said.

“There are a few reasons why the Parliament could not be dissolved. The first (reason) was (because) we were not ready,” he said.

He explained the party needed to be ready in terms of machinery, research on its chances of winning and financial standing which were the deciding factors of dissolving the Parliament.

“Eventhough, I were to dissolve the parliament, I knew that we couldn’t win handsomely. The maximum (number of parliamentary seats) we could get was around 60-65 seats,” he added.

The Bera MP justified low numbers was due to on the fence sitters.

“The white (secured) voters would only net us between 35 to 45 (seats), and I had tabled this in the council meeting,” he said.

He also said that even though Umno won the Melaka and Johor state elections, the scenerio for the general election was different.

Elections were held on Nov 19.

According to the reports furnished to him if the Parliament was to be dissolved at that time, Umno could only about 40 seats.

He then added that even with the risks, the party had still insisted for a dissolution of the parliament.

“I told the Supreme Council, that if we lose, I should not be solely be blamed, all of you should bear the responsibility because I have already explained our chances,” Ismail Sabri said.

“So, even though they blamed me for being late (in dissolving the parliament), even if it was done earlier, we would still lose,” he stated.

In last year’s GE15, Umno suffered its worst defeat at the national poll, winning only 26 parliamentary seats compared to the 54 that it won in GE14.

However, the party ultimately managed to form government with PH as GE15 resulted in a hung parliament where not a single party had enough numbers to form government on their own.

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