Friday, March 28, 2008


Give Umno time before polls: Yahya


Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin said Umno should be given time to examine its weaknesses and regain its strength before holding its party elections. In supporting a suggestion to postpone the party elections to next year, Yahya said there is no need for Umno to rush into holding its elections when it should be giving attention to more urgent issues. “The rationale is that we just concluded the general election and are busy establishing the new Governments both at the Federal and State levels. Moreover, we feel that there are some weaknesses in Umno as seen in the election results,” he told reporters after presenting assistance to SRJK Hwa Shiong and Hwa Shiong Kindergarden in Putatan near here yesterday. The State Umno Liaison Secretary argued that the shocking setback in the general election showed there are some weaknesses in Umno that must first be rectified. However, he said Umno and BN remained strong in Sabah as it won all the contested seats except for Kota Kinabalu and Sri Tanjung which was lost to the DAP. But, Umno as a whole needs to emphasise on understanding and resolving these weaknesses first before having its elections, according to him. “We could wait for calm and a more appropriate time to hold the elections. There should be no problem on that,” he said. Yahya who is also the new Agriculture and Food Industry Minister presented electrical equipment comprising 10 units of computers, a projector, LCD and printer to the schools. “The Supreme Council has decided to have an 18-month extension period and there should be no problem for the Party to hold the elections next year which is still within the extended period. The Council has the right and it is up to it to decide the date for the meeting.” On Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s proposal for Umno to hold a special extraordinary general meeting (EGM) this May, he said if the motive is for the good of the party then it should be considered but if it is more towards worsening the situation, then it is inappropriate and should be rejected. “This is a country that upholds the freedom of expression which gives people the right to express their thoughts and make suggestions. “If we think what we are about to do could split the party then we maybe we should think about it,” he said. He urged all Umno members to ensure that whatever action they take would only further strengthen the Party and not the opposite. Tengku Razaleigh in proposing his idea said the EGM is for members to discuss the Party’s poor performance in the general election. He has received support from many quarters including former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who strongly backed his suggestion saying the meeting would give all parties opportunities to voice their opinions and resolve the problems face by Umno.