By : SALLEH SAID KERUAK
KOTA KINABALU: Lately, I have been reading a lot of comments and writings on the election of Umno’s top leaders. As a member of Umno, the comments and writings have attracted my attention.
Mainstream media and the alternative media have made reports from different angles based on their own perspectives.
I have followed debates on it, especially on proposals from various quarters for the two top party posts, that is the President and Deputy President, not to be contested in the party elections this year.
All sorts of arguments and reasons have been given. Each has its pros and cons.
Personally, I see this debate as being something that is healthy in a party’s struggle in riding out challenges. This is because it can disclose the conscience of the grassroots right up to the senior leaders.
For me, Umno is now in a more democratic position after its constitution was amended not too long ago, to allow an opportunity for more leaders at the grassroots level to decide the on party leadership.
And as a democratic party, surely it is appropriate that the direction and future of the party is up to the members to decide, in line with the goals and principles of the amendment of the constitution made earlier.
Therefore, I am of the view that the spirit of the amendment must be upheld and the recommendation that the important posts not be contested is against the spirit of that amendment.
I still remember that Umno President, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, had before this, stated the fact that Umno is a democratic party and left it to the party members to decide the direction of its struggles.
I agree with that stand and it should be respected, by taking into consideration the whole political scenario after the 13th General Election.
In the 13th GE, the people sent a clear message to us and we should analyse it within the party context, and the agenda of unity to ensure Umno remains excellent and relevant.
In this matter, party leaders and members at all levels should always be open to suggestions, views or even criticisms for the sake of continuity and political survival.