UMNO General Assembly 2022: Time for self-reflection

10/01/2023 05:12 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 (Bernama) -- The 2022 UMNO General Assembly which will open tomorrow is the best platform for the party to make immediate plans to move forward following its dismal performance in the 15th General Election (GE15).

The assembly is also important to see how the largest Malay political party resolves its domestic issues after suffering another defeat in the GE15, which was the worst defeat in its history after losing the voters’ trust in the GE14.

Although UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) are in the Unity Government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, UMNO and BN are no longer the dominant parties.

Recently, UMNO president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi called for self-reflection among party members for them to unite in their thinking and efforts to restore the party’s clout that used to be the tower of strength for the race, religion and nation.

For him, the agenda to restore UMNO’s strength needs to be prioritised after the ‘blow’ it experienced during the GE15, instead of serving the wishes of individuals who are 'gunting dalam lipatan’ (impostors).

Apart from domestic issues, the rejection of UMNO and BN which is often linked to the perception of corruption among its leaders is also important to be scrutinised in depth as BN only won 30 of the 178 seats contested in GE15.

Meanwhile, UMNO Information chief Isham Jalil was also reported as saying that UMNO  needs to make efforts to shake off the corrupt party label given it by certain quarters if it wants to recover from its poor showing in the last two general elections.

He said in its 60 years as a dominant party, UMNO was frequently attacked by its opponents using the corruption issue to the extent that it had created a bad impression on the party.

The party’s general assembly, set to be held at the Kuala Lumpur World Trade Centre (WTCKL) will be attended by 6,198 delegates and observers, including information chiefs from party branches and divisions.

Prior to this, UMNO secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan had also said that the automatic participation of information chiefs from all the three UMNO wings - Wanita, Youth and Puteri - as observers at the general assembly was aimed at enabling them to explain to the members at the division and branch levels about the president’s policy speech and also the debates by the delegates.

A total of 2,822 delegates and observers will be attending the general assembly until Saturday.

The general assemblies of the three UMNO wings will be opened simultaneously by Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan tomorrow night. Wanita UMNO general assembly will see the attendance of 1,117 delegates, UMNO Youth with 1,146 delegates, and Puteri UMNO with  1,113 delegates.

For the first time ever, UMNO General Assembly will not see the participation of foreign observers or political parties other than Barisan Nasional (BN) components and Friends of BN so as to allow the party to resolve its domestic issues.

Apart from that, the assembly will also focus on the president’s policy speech, which will most likely touch on the issues of education, religion, economy, politics and international affairs.

Among the focus will be the special general assembly which to be held within the general assembly this Friday to enable UMNO to make amendments to two of its constitutional clauses, including Clause 20.11 which states that the membership of any UMNO members will be automatically revoked if they leave the party or contest as an independent or a candidate for another party during an election, in line with the anti-party hopping law.

The other amendment was to Clause 8.4 to have all information chiefs will be automatically selected as delegates to the UMNO general assembly every year.

The general assembly, which was initially slated for Dec 21 to 24 last year, was postponed to Jan 11 to 14 this year.