The results of the three recent by-elections in Selangor has proven that the pact between Umno and PAS has not yielded results, said former Umno Youth deputy head Khairul Azwan Harun.
He said Umno had stuck to its traditional method of campaigning and focussing on issues relevant to Malays and Muslims, but that didn't work either.
"The low voter turnout was supposed to help us. Our machinery worked hard, one that we've been relying on for years, was unsuccessful, again. But most crucially, this PAS-Umno election pact wasn't effective.
"The rakyat don't want an opposition that openly only focuses on Malay and Islam. That has never been how Umno won elections in the past. We need to revisit our moderate and centrist ways, ones that earned respect from non-Malays, not fear," he said in a statement today.
Khairul, who is currently a senator, said the by-elections should have shown signs of pushback against Pakatan Harapan now that the "honeymoon period" was over.
"SST, higher living cost and underperforming ministers were supposed to (case a pushback). But we still lost," said Khairul.
Harapan managed to improve on its share of votes during the Sungai Kandis and Balakong by-elections. However, it's vote share was reduced by eight percent in Seri Setia, which saw Umno urging its supporters to back the PAS candidate.
Conversely, Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa had opined that the results indicated that Malays were "motivated" to support the opposition.
Meanwhile, Khairul said Umno can work with PAS on legislative and policy matters while maintaining an ideological difference.
"Umno's identity is distinct, we were founded on cooperative and moderate principles, not far-right politics," he said.