THE issue of seat distribution was hotly debated recently, after the Umno deputy president said he will contest in Rembau and Khairy Jamaluddin can stand in another parliamentary constituency.
The statement was issued prematurely and does not respect the party constitution – according to Clause 10.2, the Supreme Council decides on candidates for the general election. The deputy president appears to have put individual needs ahead of party interests.
On this matter, Johor Umno deputy chairman and Pulai division chief Nur Jazlan Mohamed issued a statement of his own, saying more senior candidates should contest in seats outside party strongholds.
Pulai Umno Youth fully supports Nur Jazlan’s view. We believe that Umno should leave its comfort zone and fully understand the situation in this era of “New Malaysia”.
We will propose that a motion be brought to the Umno general assembly pushing for young members to be selected as election candidates, so as to bridge the generation gap in the “Grand Old Party”.
Umno’s senior members are important and we need their leadership in general, but these heavyweights, who have wide experience and an extensive network, should stand in new seats. Meanwhile, fresh and first-time candidates should be given safe seats. This will provide them with the opportunity to gain experience, network and learn.
We do not want Umno to be merely a “village champion”. We want an Umno/Barisan Nasional that will stay relevant. The aforementioned mechanism can help us achieve this.
Umno must realise that the political climate has grown dynamic in this age of modernisation, and society has evolved. The party needs to accept this reality and change its direction.
By : Muhammad Shaqib Shahrilnizam – Pulai Umno Youth information chief.