KUALA LUMPUR, 18 Feb 2009: All three candidates for the Umno Youth chief post, who debated in the programme Hujah aired over TV9 last night, agreed to bring solid changes to the movement.
Rembau Member of Parliament (MP), Khairy Jamaluddin, said Umno Youth needed a package of common principles with the youth wings of other Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties to bring about changes in the interest of all races.
“The nature and form of BN Youth only surfaces during elections but after that there is no attention and fewer joint programmes. There are differences, and so a new approach for BN Youth is needed,” he said in the programme.
Khairy said the convergence of Umno Youth and BN Youth could also strengthen the principles and rights of the different races, and directly project the movement as being national.
Jerlun MP, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, said reorganisation from the highest level and among the youth can bring about greater strength to regain the people’s confidence in Umno.
“Umno Youth needs to understand and rectify the existing weaknesses. The new leadership must be firm to consolidate Umno so that the party does not stray from its original struggle that calls for open polices in the interest of the people,” he said.
He said all races must understand that Umno was a Malay party that practised an open policy for all races including the Chinese, Indians and other ethnic races.
Former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo said the movement must be the voice of both the government and the people which could address various issues so that they could not be manipulated by the Opposition.
“Umno Youth is not like the youth wings of others which are only the voices of the people. Umno Youth must also be the voice of the government and explain the implementation of government policies to the people clearly,” he said.
He said the Opposition’s win in Selangor in the last general election was a lesson to rectify weaknesses to strengthen the party.
The programme last night was moderated by associate professor Mohammad Agus Yusof from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s Centre for History, Politics and Strategy Studies. — Bernama