KUALA LUMPUR – December 6, 2017: Many Umno members do not want their party to field those who are ill-mannered as candidates in the next general elections.
The common belief is that it would be a costly mistake for the party to field such candidates as their less than proper character could cause the people to find Umno objectionable.
“We don’t want our party to be represented by foul-mouthed people… they are the ones who cause Umno to lose votes.
“With Pribumi Bersatu touting themselves as our counterpart in the opposition bloc, Umno needs to showcase itself as the good guy,” said Saad Hussin from the Ayer Hitam division in Kedah.
“Our party cannot do that (be seen as the good guy) if it is represented by obnoxious candidates,” he remarked.
The crucial need for Umno to field likeable candidates was stated at the ongoing general assembly by party number two Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi at the opening of the three wings last night.
Zahid had admitted that it is difficult to find candidates with such a quality as they will most likely become victims of jealousy and subjected to unnecessary internal politicking.
Another party member, Awarna Palil, said it is important for the leadership to choose candidates who are well-versed with the nuances of today’s youths.
“Convincing youths to vote for Umno is something that senior members like me have trouble doing because of our generation gap.
“Even more so if we are campaigning for a candidate that youths regard as too old,” said the 63-year-old single mother from Tebrau.
When asked if there is any Umno leader that fits the criteria of being a winnable candidate, Puteri member Siti Khairunisa Jamil named Sungai Besar assemblyman Budiman Mohd. Zohdi.
Budiman won the Sungai Besar by-election last year by a whopping 9,191 votes, a significant increase from the 399 won by the late Tan Sri Noriah Kasnon in the last general elections.
“He (Budiman) may be 45-year-old but his Selangor Young People Secretariat (a non-governmental organisation that Budiman chairs) is quite popular among especially the underprivileged youths in Selangor.
“To me Budiman’s victory in Sungai Besar proved how important it is for Umno to have a candidate who is not out of touch with the people, particularly youths who are the biggest voting bloc in the country,” said Siti Khairunisa, who is from Sungai Besar.
Saad and Awarna also named Budiman as an example of Umno’s likable candidate.