Re-training for Umno leaders

(The Star) SHAH ALAM: All Umno leaders, including the top brass, will be undergoing ‘re-training’ programmes aimed at promoting a more dynamic mindset in championing the rights of all Malaysians, party deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

Describing it as a “back-to-school session”, Muhyiddin said it was part of the party’s revitalisation plan to ‘inject’ a new spirit into party leaders in preparation for the next general election.

“We want to sensitise the leaders to fight for all Malaysians, not only the Malays.

“We also want them to adopt a people-friendly approach,” he said, hinting that the 13th general election could be held earlier than the March 2013 deadline.

The party’s supreme council members would start the ball rolling by attending a retreat at Ilmu (the Umno Empowerment Training Institute) in Janda Baik in the next few days, he said.

“The top leaders will have a pow-wow session to identify weaknesses and draw action plans to strengthen and revitalise the party,” he said, adding that a self-reflection session was also included in the training module.

Speaking at the opening of the Shah Alam Umno division delegates’ conference, and later when closing the Tanjung Karang Umno meeting yesterday, Muhyiddin said Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi would head a committee in charge of formulating the training modules.

“After the supreme council members, we will extend the programme to all states to train division and branch leaders.

“We hope to train as many leaders as possible within the next two years. We want to project the right image, one that is humble and people-centric,” he said.

The programme would also promote unity among the members.

Muhyiddin, who is also Barisan Nasional deputy chairman, said all the component parties in the coalition must initiate reform plans to keep it formidable.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said the training programmes were aimed at preparing the party leaders for the changing political landscape.

“Times have changed, and we must change with the times. We want leaders to be more proactive. We want them to think of themselves not only as leaders for Umno members but also for a multi-racial community.

“We must remind the leaders that this is a multi-racial country, and we must be sensitive to what the people want,” he said.