Monday, March 31, 2008

Umno to hear all sides, says Najib

By izatun shari

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno will hear the views of its members relating to the proposal to abolish the nomination quota to contest top posts in the party.

Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who was non-committal on the issue said there were pros and cons to the system.

"I am studying the matter. I see that there are different views on the matter. Therefore, let us study first the effects of the system that has been implemented and the views of party members whether to review it," he told reporters Monday after the launch of Dayang Enteprise Holdings Bhd prospectus for its upcoming listing on Bursa Malaysia here.

However, he said it would be left to the Umno supreme council to make the final decision on the matter.

Najib was asked to comment on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's proposal on Saturday to abolish the nomination quota system.

The former Prime Minister had said it should be abolished as it was being abused to prevent members from nominating candidates.

Under the party constitution, a candidate needs 30% nomination from the 191 divisions (57 nominations) to be eligible to contest the president's post, 20% (38 nominations) for deputy president, 10% (19 nominations) for vice-president and 5% for supreme council seats.

Najib, who is Deputy Prime Minister, said the system was not meant to hamper democracy in the party.

"We have to go back to the original objective when the system was introduced. There is no commitment to abolish it. We have to listen to the views of the party members first."

He said the system was originally introduced to ensure only serious candidates contested the important posts not those who merely wanted to oppose the party leadership.

Asked about his personal view, he said: "My personal view is not important at this stage."

The proposal has received support from party vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. However, Umno Information Chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib objected to it saying that removing the quota system would mean that anyone could contest, even if the majority of the party members did not support the candidate.

On whether talk that allowing the top two posts to be challenged would mean that people would know the strength of the president and his deputy, he said: "Whether there is a challenge or not depends on party members. If there is a challenge, they have to abide by the party constitution." - the star online

BERITADARIGUNUNG: a very nice comment from Najib. He knows all along the game plan as number two.