KUALA LUMPUR, 4 March 2009: The combination of leaders from pre- and post-independence days in Umno will ensure the party remains relevant to the people.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said democracy in Umno was a process that made Umno more mature.
“God willing, in 2009 we will see many more leaders from the post-independence generation in the Umno supreme council,” he said on the Hujah programme broadcast live over TV9 from Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka last night.
Former Umno vice-president Tan Sri Isa Samad, also one of the speakers in the programme, said democracy had been practised in Umno since its inception.
“The Umno constitution mentions safeguarding social justice through the system of parliamentary democracy,” said Isa, who is contesting a vice-president post in the upcoming party elections towards the end of the month.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also contesting one of the three vice-president posts, suggested that the nomination quota system be abolished to check money politics in the party.
“Many party members don’t need the money. If there are no givers, there will be no takers. So, we need to change the system in the party elections to get rid of money politics,” he said.
When asked by moderator Assoc Prof Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff on the action by Perak assembly Speaker V Sivakumar and 27 Pakatan Rakyat (PR) assemblypersons to convene an assembly meeting under a tree in Ipoh yesterday, he said it was irrational and showed disrespect for the authority of the Perak Sultan.
Ahmad Zahid said never in the country’s history had a state assembly sitting been held under a tree and this showed that the PR did not respect the state assembly as an august institution. — Bernama