Face-to-face meetings work best, says Umno veteran
SHAH ALAM firstname.lastname@example.org
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.