Friday, March 28, 2008


Better to hold Umno polls this year: Masidi


It would be better for Unmo to hold its party elections sooner than later to ensure the party can get back on track as soon as possible, said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun. He said whether the party elections will be held this year or the next, whatever perceived problems within the party will still be present until a move is made towards finding solutions. “Whether we have it now or later, we will still need to make our selection. We cannot deny that something is wrong (in the party). Something is seriously wrong and it would be better to settle these problems now,” he said yesterday. Masidi, who is also Umno Ranau Chief, said he understands the fears of division within the ranks if the party elections are held as scheduled this August but expressed his faith in the maturity of the party members. “There are some whose views are perceived as going against the party leadership, but I don’t think we should interpret their views as such. I interpret every opinion as a manifestation of the desire to see the party get better. “We should look at it positively, rather than just looking at the negative aspects. I believe the party should sit down, discuss the problems and weaknesses that we obviously saw in the past elections and take brave steps towards solving these problems,” he said. When asked to comment on calls by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for an EGM in May, Masidi said it may not be needed. “If we are going to have the elections this year, I believe there is no necessity to have an EGM because all issues can be exhaustively discussed at the normal AGM. “Perhaps what they may want to do is to have a longer period for the AGM to give ample time for everyone to air their views,” he said. Masidi added that Umno leaders and members should wait until the AGM to make their opinions known as it would be the proper forum for any discussions regarding party matters. “As far as possible, we should not wash our dirty linen in public. There is a proper forum for Umno members to discuss ... if you have an opinion, keep it and say it out in the normal forum provided for in the party,” he said.