Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Under Najib, Umno Reforms Herald a Modern, Transparent Party

Umno Executive Secretary Abdul Rauf Yusoh has revealed that the party will be using a secure card scanner system to determine voter eligibility during internal elections later this year.

It is thought that up to 150,000 members will play their part in deciding whether to award a further mandate to Umno President Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

At the last party election, in 2009, only 2,500 delegates were able to vote for office bearers, with even stricter conditions imposed on election candidates before they were permitted to stand.

But like Malaysia, Umno under Najib has seen a raft of reforms implanted in order to provide more transparency and further the democratic processes of party governance.

The reforms, particularly on issues such as voter security may be seen as a slap in the face of parties like DAP where internal election processes have faced public and embarrassing scrutiny after the CEC election fiasco last December.

That Umno is promising more transparency in its party elections than the supposedly 'Democratic' Action Party is a strong sign that the reforms led by Najib are making a positive impact.

"The election will be more complex and challenging because it is in line with the reforms which we decided upon three years ago," he said earlier this month.

To that end, Abdul Rauf said that the party would go on a road show in which it could explain the benefits of the new system to its members.

"This is the first time that the system will include the divisional and branch level following the amendment to the Umno constitution on the party election process," he said.

"The system is to ensure that members who are eligible can attend the meetings to elect the grassroots committee and supreme council members."

Abdul Rauf's announcement comes on the back of a fresh boost of support for Najib from Kedah Umno where a solid endorsement was given for the mooted 'no-contest' proposal of the party's top two spots.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has also joined in, lending his influence to the same no-contest proposal.

Even if the proposal gains no ground, that so many Umno members and leaders are happy with the leadership provided by Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin suggests a good future for the pair and ultimately Malaysia.

"We want Najib and Muhyiddin to soldier on as the Umno president and deputy president respectively without any contest. This will allow them to proceed with the party's transformation agenda," explained Kedah State Umno Liaison Committee Chairman Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah.

"Kedah Umno also believes preparations for the next general election should start now and the no-contest move will allow our president and deputy to come out with better strategies for the party's future."

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