Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Will delegates heed Najib's call for change?

Will the call by incoming Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak for change and reform in the party be heeded by the party’s three wings who will be choosing their leaders this morning.

Datuk Najib at the opening joint assembly of the three wings - Wanita , Youth and Puteri - last night called for a change in the way Umno chooses its leaders as part of the initiative to reclaim its position as a party of choice by the Malays.

A total of 796 Wanita delegates, Youth (791) and Puteri (789) will determine the fate of those running for the top leadership posts as well as seats in the executive council of their respective wings when they cast their votes. The main focus today will be the three-cornered fight for the Umno Youth Chief post because of the personalities involved.

Former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo Mohd Khir will face Mukhriz Mahathir, the son of former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Khairy Jamaluddin, the son-in-law of the current prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Mukhriz, the MP for Jerlun, received the the highest number of votes in the contest for an exco seat in the last Pemuda election.

Khairy, the outgoing deputy Umno chief, who is also the MP for Rembau, was found guilty last week by the Umno Disciplinary Committee for breaching the party's campaign rules but was let off scott free with just a stern warning.

In the last Pemuda election, he won the deputy post uncontested after he was given the "laluluan" by another contender.

Khir, the man many held responsible for the loss of Selangor to the Opposition in last year's general election, was cleared of any wrongdoings by the board.

The key battle in the Wanita wing is between incumbent Wanita chief Rafidah Aziz and her former deputy Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

Shahrizat is going for broke by taking on Rafidah for the top post. She is not defending her post and a defeat would leave her in a political limbo.

Rafidah, who has led the wing for 19 years, was the first woman to head the International Trade and Industry Ministry. However, she lost her cabinet post in a reshuffle after the general election despite having successfully defended her Kuala Kangsar Parliamentary seat.

The "do-or-die" battle between the duo for the top post has been build up by the media as a contest which neither can afford to lose.

The Puteri Wing will also elect their leader for the first time among six contenders - Datuk Shahaniza Shamsuddin, Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, Datin Ismalina Ismail, Bibi Sharliza Mohd Khalid, Ida Rahayu Md Noor and Saarah Ali Bashah.

Will the call by the deputy party president be translated into votes? That will be answered when the results are out by 10 tonight.


Anonymous said...

I hope the following will win:

Pemuda: Mukhriz

Wanita: Sharizat

Puteri: Who cares

Otherwise, Umno boleh gulung tikar.

plain jane said...

I am not an Umno member, but I know the choice made by the delegates will affect me as a Malaysian since Umno is the backbone of the ruling coalition.

My fervent hope is that they will make the right choice. Vote ONLY those who are clean, capable and with intgerity.

Cant say there is much choice, but choose the best among what is given before them.

Lee said...

Calling for change is courageous as the double-edged sword can cut both ways.If change do actually happened, then UMNO will be around for some time to come .If not, like AAB, Najib will also be shown the exit and into the dustbin of history.