Saturday, April 05, 2008

Umno weak because it is lacking in democracy, says Razaleigh

Saturday April 5, 2008

GUA MUSANG: Describing Umno as being in a crisis, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said the lack of democracy was the main cause of the party’s weakness.

The Gua Musang Umno division chief said the quota system where nominations from 30% of the divisions were needed before a candidate could contest the president post was an example of Umno lacking in democracy.

He said the requirement meant that candidates would need nominations from at least 58 divisions in order to contest.

“The rationale is to curtail members from contesting for posts but I don’t think there are Umno members who will simply challenge the party president without any strong reason,” he told reporters after opening the division’s extraordinary general meeting yesterday.

He said the quota system created a situation where members were more loyal to leaders instead of the party and incidences of money politics.

He said the recent general election had eroded the people’s support and confidence in Umno and immediate steps must be taken to stop the situation from worsening.

The EGM attended by 423 delegates from 191 branches in Gua Musang was held to press the party supreme council to convene a national-level EGM to discuss the results of the polls.

Gua Musang is the first division to hold the EGM with Tengku Razaleigh urging the 190 divisions in the country to hold theirs.

Later, Tengku Razaleigh reiterated that the EGM should discuss the party’s weaknesses and shortcomings and provide a new vision for Umno.

The Cheras Umno division will also hold EGM on April 27 which will call for the abolishing of the quota system and to discuss issues concerning the leadership and the future of the party.