Umno Women and Youth wings embrace former rivals for Malaysian stability

Sections of Umno Youth and Women leaders in Malaysia have announced their readiness to work alongside former rivals within the national unity government, putting aside years of hostility for the sake of the country’s political stability. Leaders from the party’s Women and Youth wings spoke about the importance of this collaboration during this year’s Umno general assembly.

As Malaysia gears up for the state election in Kedah, Sungai Siput Umno Women division leader Zaitun Ab Rahman pledged that members would put every effort towards ensuring national unity government candidates would win, regardless of whether they were from Barisan Nasional (BN) or Pakatan Harapan (PH).

“We have the experience, we don’t practise narrow-minded politics, we have principles and we will not lose our dignity,” said Zaitun Ab Rahman after attending the launching of Umno Women’s 2023 annual general meeting (AGM).

Umno Women chief Noraini Ahmad highlighted the importance of Umno’s role in Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s administration for maintaining order and stability, while also urging Umno members to remain humble and acknowledge the party’s changed position in Malaysian politics.

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“We need to fight together and prove together that the role of Umno Women in mobilising the election machinery, will have an impact and at the same time give victory in the upcoming state elections,” she told over 1,000 delegates at the wing’s annual gathering.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also reminded party members of Umno’s current position within the unity government and the need to act accordingly to seize any opportunities during the six state elections expected by August.

Selayang Umno Youth leader Shah Zanuriman Nuar Paras Khan shared his division’s plans to organise meetings with PH counterparts to discuss possible collaborations, in line with Zahid’s message.

“The Youth (wings) play a role in several important portfolios including reaching out and understanding the will of young people,” he said.

Despite the grassroots leaders’ willingness to work together with PH parties, Umno Youth chief Muhamad Akmal Saleh demanded an apology from DAP, previously seen as the party’s most bitter rival, for past attacks and criticisms.

“Some members met me to complain and express their feelings, worried about Umno-DAP working together. Worried that they can’t speak of Malay privilege, the sovereignty of Malay Rulers, the issue of religion, language and education of the Malays and Bumiputera,” he said.

Akmal also emphasised that Umno’s support for the unity government was due to the Agong’s decree and the nation’s stability, stating, “We’re together to form a government. We share an administrative space, but not a space of understanding. We cross partisan politics, but we border the principles of struggle.”

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Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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