If there was one man who stood out during the recent Umno General Assembly, it was deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
His views about Umno’s relevance may have hit a raw nerve but were deemed necessary by many as the party scrambles to find its purpose.
Mohamad Hasan spoke about some Malays losing their moral compass and values. The former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar added that everything had become about money and material rewards and the Malay community was “facing an age of decline.”
Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek could not agree more, adding the time has come for Umno “to create the Malay renaissance”.
“In any civilisation, if good values are not observed, it will face decadence,” said the former Kemaman MP.
“In this case, Umno should lead the Malays by promoting good values, by going back to serving the people.
“This must be done fast … this Malay renaissance. If Pakatan Harapan performs well for the next five years and if Umno does not change, then the party will be forgotten forever.”
Ahmad Shabery added leaders should tolerate dissenting views within to win the hearts of many. He was saying this in reference to former Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin who has been critical about the party in recent weeks.
“Let KJ (Khairy) be KJ. Let Ku Li (Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah) be Ku Li. They should be allowed to express themselves as those are their views and that of their supporters.
“If leaders start paying attention to such views, then they will get support from the liberals, the religious … support from across the spectrum. It’s because the leaders are willing to listen.”
He added it was time for the youths to spearhead Umno.
Ahmad Shabery singled out Sabah Umno Youth delegate Khairul Fidaus Akhbar Khan’s analogy to describe Umno’s downfall by using mobile phone brands. Khairul had likened Umno to Nokia, Pakatan Harapan was like Samsung while Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was Apple.
“It’s a good analogy. And there is still a chance for ‘Nokia’ (Umno) to redeem itself if it gets into the game aggressively and serve the people well.
“That’s why Umno’s revival means the party needs to be led by younger members.”