KOTA KINABALU: Umno and the Malay leaders need to make a paradigm shift in their political approach and ways to strengthen the Malays with a view to bringing back confidence and belief in the party, said former Sabah chief minister Datuk Salleh Said Keruak.
He said this is because the country’s political scenario particularly in terms of the people’s voting pattern — be it of the young, the middle class and the non-Malays — has changed.“If this voting pattern continues, that the people give their votes based on intellectual voting and no longer on tactical voting, the Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) standings will be under threat in the next election.“Therefore, Umno leaders have to close ranks and understand this reality,” he told Bernama here yesterday.
Salleh, formerly an Umno Supreme Council member, said the main reason leading to this scenario was crisis of confidence and belief among the people in Umno leaders.In view of this, he suggested several approaches to strengthen Umno as the pillar of the Malays’ power and hoped that it would be debated in the party’s general assembly that begins today.He said this include changing the party’s electoral system to give more opportunities to young leaders.“Let it be more open and allow more people to make choices, and the nomination quota be done away with.
“Perhaps, a study should be conducted on the method used by established parties in several countries to elect their leaders,” he said.Salleh said there is also a need to enhance the strategy to approach voters without undermining their intellectuality.
The New Economic Policy, meanwhile, should be given a new breath by making sure that it really benefits the people and not be perceived as a tool to enrich cronies, he said.
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