New faces send message to party warlords?


Umno delegates here have sent a clear message to the new leadership of the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings of Umno to put up a strong front for the coming 14th general election.

The election results of the three wings last Saturday showed delegates chose a combination of experienced leaders and new faces and not mere weekend representatives.

The new leadership has been entrusted to strengthen unity among members as history has shown that internal party rivalry has been rejected by the people who voted for PAS to administer the state in the May 13th general election.

Umno delegates have also cleared out old leaders who may have caused PAS to remain in power for 23 years since 1990 while sounding out a reminder to the new leadership to start working now and not when the election was near.

In the election on Saturday, there were 581 Wanita, 488 Youth and 387 Puteri candidates vying for 294 wing positions in the state’s 14 divisions.

In the election for division heads for Wanita, five new faces made up the post-election Wanita chief line-up. While the division Youth head election also saw nine new faces and the Puteri wing saw five fresh faces heading their respective divisions.

Heads of the various wings when met were unanimous in promising a breathe of fresh air to empower their divisions, including drawing more support from the younger group.

Pengkalan Chepa Youth head Mohamad Rizal Razali said his team would start working much earlier so that the community can identify and trust them as being capable leaders who can fight for the people’s interest.

A political observer, Professor Abdul Halim Sidek said the new leadership, which is a combination of old and new faces, could energise and power Kelantan Umno to seize the state from the PAS administration during the 14th general election.

Abdul Halim who is also a member of the National Professors Council said the new leadership needed a new vision to quickly rejuvenate and empower the party in preparation for the next general election as its main objective, by capturing the hearts of the people for Umno and BN.

“I can see a good shift in the new leadership of the three Umno wings in Kelantan. The injection of new blood into Umno would be a major impact for the party’s struggles to regain the state,” he said.

He said on the whole, delegates were satisfied with the election process brought about by the political transformation introduced by the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak who is also Umno president, for greater democracy and transparency in the election.

As Kelantan Umno’s war general, state Umno liaison chairman Mustapa Mohamed wants the new leadership to firm up their positions and get down to work on preparing for the 14th general election.

“The new leadership, a combination of old and new faces, is a positive development for the party to face its future challenges,” he said.