Umno Youth backs push for young leaders to reform party

The wing’s chief, Dr Akmal Saleh, says the public is tired of the ‘warlords’ in Umno and other parties.

(FMT) – Umno Youth has welcomed calls to give the younger generation leadership roles to reform the party and stay relevant.

Umno Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh said the party needs to identify leaders who can serve the people wholeheartedly before nominating them as general election candidates.

He said the public is tired of the “warlords” in Umno and other parties.

“I see the strategy of presenting young leaders who can work for the people as a new style of politics,” he told FMT.

“It’s not just about becoming a candidate during elections but also working for the people before, during and after the general election.”

Umno vice-president Johari Ghani and Umno Veterans Club secretary Mustapha Yaakub are advocating for more young leaders to spearhead Barisan Nasional in the next general election.

Johari called on the party to be more courageous by unveiling the potential candidates early, as a delay would make it difficult for constituents to get to know the person chosen to contest the seat.

Mustapha backed Johari’s call, saying Umno must be brave enough to change even if it will be difficult “for some who see themselves as ‘warlords’ controlling the party”.

Agreeing with the duo, Akmal said presenting candidates briefly before nomination day is ineffective and should be done one or two years ahead.

“If the people want leaders who can sit, listen, and always understand the sentiments of the people, then of course, Umno must seize this opportunity.

“They need to prove they have repented after being ‘punished’ by the people, so today’s Umno must move towards what the people want,” he said.

Akmal said Umno Youth has also set key performance indicators (KPIs) for those interested in becoming general election candidates, and only those meeting these KPIs will be recommended.

“It’s not about fielding those who can go to the ground because they want to win the election. Young leaders (who consistently work for the people) will be supported and put forward early on,” he said.