Serve the public, politi­cians told

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA TERENG­GANU: Seven­term Se­berang Takir state as­sem­bly­man Datuk Ab­dul Rashid Ngah may have prob­lems with his knee and heart, but his mind is still sharp as he re­called his 20year ca­reer as an Umno di­vi­sion chief.

“When I was elected as the as­sem­bly­man for Se­berang Takir in 1973, the fo­cus had al­ways been on the wel­fare of both Umno mem­bers and vot­ers.

“A good and re­spected di­vi­sion leader knows ev­ery branch com­mit­tee mem­ber, not just by name, but also where he lives.

“As grass­roots lead­ers, we have to keep tabs on their fam­i­lies’ de­vel­op­ment.

“The bond be­tween politi­cians and the peo­ple must not be bro­ken,” Rashid told the New Straits Times at his home here yes­ter­day.

Rashid, how­ever, said times had changed and Umno, which is cel­e­brat­ing its 71st an­niver­sary on May 11, had also changed.

“I am feel­ing un­com­fort­able with the changes. I see a wedge driven be­tween politi­cians and the peo­ple.

“The per­sonal touch is miss­ing be­cause most of the lead­ers are busy.

“Some are busy de­vel­op­ing the state, so much so they have lit­tle or no time to meet party mem­bers and the peo­ple.

“I no­tice mem­bers are pre­oc­cu­pied with try­ing to get po­si­tions in the party and only serve the vot­ers when the gen­eral election is near.

“When the bond is bro­ken, the task to win back the vot­ers’ con­fi­dence be­comes harder.”

Rashid said main­tain­ing the bond with the peo­ple should be given pri­or­ity as GE14 drew closer.

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