Face-to-face meet­ings work best, says Umno vet­eran

New Straits Times - - News -



REACH­ING out to the peo­ple may just be the key for Selangor Umno and Barisan Na­sional to re­turn to power af­ter two terms as the state op­po­si­tion.

Umno vet­eran Tan Sri Zaleha Is­mail, whose foray into pol­i­tics be­gan in 1968, said meet­ing the peo­ple was some­thing she had been see­ing lit­tle of in Selangor Umno and BN.

Zaleha, 81, who had held par­lia­men­tary seats such as Tan­jong Karang, Se­layang and Gom­bak be­fore quit­ting in 2003, made a clar­ion call for the coali­tion to re­turn to such a prac­tice.

“The en­gage­ment with the peo­ple is in­suf­fi­cient. Maybe they (the coali­tion and rep­re­sen­ta­tives) feel com­fort­able that the peo­ple had voted for them. But no mat­ter how big you are, you will not be pop­u­lar un­til you see the peo­ple who voted for you.

“If they want to win back Selangor, they have to work a lit­tle harder so that they can win the hearts and sup­port of the peo­ple,” she said.

“Go to ev­ery cor­ner of state and meet peo­ple from all walks of life. They should not stop work­ing on that. Visit schools, non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions, places of wor­ships and neigh­bour­hoods.

“Per­sonal touch is im­por­tant so that peo­ple will re­mem­ber you and your ser­vices. De­spite the con­ve­nience of so­cial me­dia, face-to-face meet­ings are vi­tal and still work best. Have di­a­logues, know their prob­lems and try to solve them.

“Selangor Umno and BN have a high chance of win­ning the next gen­eral elec­tion, but they have to put a lit­tle more ef­fort to en­sure vic­tory.”

Zaleha, who is vice-pres­i­dent of Selangor Malaysian Coun­cil of For­mer of Elected Rep­re­sen­ta­tives (Mubarak), con­tin­ues to serve the peo­ple from her home in Taman Per­wira Satu in Gom­bak.

Although the Gom­bak par­lia­men­tary seat is held by Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who is also men­teri be­sar and PKR deputy pres­i­dent, Zaleha said many sought her help, such as get­ting en­dorse­ments for sup­port let­ters.

“The peo­ple re­mem­ber that I was Gom­bak mem­ber of par­lia­ment for two terms be­fore I de­cided not to con­test in 2003. They still come to me and I of­fer my ser­vices pro bono to them.”

To­day, she will be hon­oured with the Anugerah Tokoh Me­layu Ter­bilang Selangor 2017 for her con­tri­bu­tion to Umno in a cer­e­mony at the Selangor Umno build­ing.

“I am pleas­antly sur­prised. I did not ex­pect any award, but I ap­pre­ci­ate it very much.”

For­mer Selangor men­teri be­sar Tan Sri Abu Has­san Omar, who is Selangor Mubarak pres­i­dent, will also re­ceive the award.


Umno vet­eran Tan Sri Zaleha Is­mail says Selangor Barisan Na­sional must put in more ef­fort to reach out to the peo­ple to win the state.

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