Fi­nal push be­fore elec­tions

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - By Haikal Jalil

THE 2016 Umno An­nual Gen­eral As­sem­bly which be­gins to­day may be the last chance for the back­bone party of the Barisan Na­sional (BN) coali­tion to rally its mem­bers ahead of the next gen­eral elec­tion (GE14), widely spec­u­lated to be held in the first half of next year.

More than 5,000 del­e­gates from ev­ery cor­ner of the coun­try will at­tend the five-day gath­er­ing at Pu­tra World Trade Cen­tre, which will start with the open­ing of three wing assem­blies by the re­spec­tive heads tonight.

Party pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Na­jib Ab­dul Razak will de­liver his key­note ad­dress on Thurs­day, in which he is ex­pected to drum home the im­por­tance of unity and sol­i­dar­ity ahead of GE14.

Fed­eral Ter­ri­to­ries Umno Youth chief Mohd Ra­zlan Rafii said he ex­pected the prime min­is­ter to out­line strate­gies of what the party would be do­ing to face chal­lenges ahead of GE14.

“The del­e­gates must be told what the party achieve­ments and con­tri­bu­tions are so they can dis­sem­i­nate the in­for­ma­tion to the grass­roots and counter op­po­si­tion pro­pa­ganda,” he said.

Mohd Ra­zlan added that the del­e­gates and Umno mem­bers na­tion­wide also wanted to know how the party plans to deal with Parti Pribumi Ber­satu Malaysia (PPBM) and Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), which were formed by for­mer top Umno lead­ers.

He said Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad, Tan Sri Muhyid­din Yassin and Datuk Seri Shafie Ap­dal may still have some in­flu­ence among Umno mem­bers.

Ma­hathir and Muhyid­din are lead­ing the Malay-based PPBM, while Shafie has gone re­gional with his Sabah-based Warisan. Both Umno splin­ter par­ties are cur­rently work­ing with the op­po­si­tion coali­tion to cap­ture Putrajaya.

Sep­a­rately, close in­ter­ac­tion be­tween Umno and PAS seem to have raised con­cern among BN coali­tion part­ners and grass­roots.

Many hope Na­jib will ad­dress this as well as the party’s stand on the con­tro­ver­sial Pri­vate Mem­ber’s Bill by PAS pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Ab­dul Hadi Awang to amend the pow­ers of syariah courts.

BERNAMAPIX

Ros­mah pre­sent­ing an award to Aqsa Syarif Hu­man­i­tar­ian Care Malaysia vice-chair­man Dr Fauziah Mohd Has­san at the cer­e­mony yes­ter­day. At right is Shahrizat.

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