Justice For All Malaysia

Malaysiakini: Pressure mounts against quotas in Umno polls

Posted on: April 1, 2008

 
Chan Kok Leong | Mar 31, 08 7:39pm
Sabah Umno deputy information head Shafie Apdal has become the latest to join a growing bandwagon of Umno supreme council members in favour of abolishing the quota system that determines who can contest top posts in the party polls.

Speaking after his first briefing at the unity, culture, arts and heritage ministry in Putrajaya today, Shafie said the spirit behind the quota system has been to ensure only that serious candidates are nominated.

mohd shafie apdal“I still remember this because I was there when this was amended. It was based on the assumption then that members were not wise enough to decide on who was the right guy to nominate then. And we did not want any Tom, Dick and Harry to offer themselves as candidates.

“But I think (as vice-president Muhyiddin Yassin has indicated) the current procedure needs to be amended to suit the demands of the members.”

He is confident that changes to the quota system would encourage more capable members to step up as leaders.

This, he said, should not be only in contests for the top two positions, but also those for other positions like three vice-presidents, secretary-general and members of the supreme council.

“And the newcomers can perhaps strengthen the party. I’m quite sure that the members have become wise enough to decide who they want to lead the party and (therefore the) country,” Shafie told reporters.

Although, the matter was not debated during the supreme council meeting last Thursday, he feels certain that it will be discussed in due course because it affects the party.

“I’m of the same opinion with Muhyiddin that there is a need to change the quota. I feel that, under the current circumstances, there shouldn’t be any worries about contests. Umno is a mature party.”

Khir Toyo: Leaders should not fear contests

khir toyo selangor bn pc 120308 happyContacted today, former Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said leaders should not fear contests if they are strong.

“Abolishing the quota is in line with a more open practice. Furthermore, if we (leaders) are strong, we should not be afraid of ending the quota system,” he said.

But he also pointed out the need to go back to grassroots to check if this is what members really want.

Another supreme council member, Mohamed Khaled Nordin, has also backed the proposal to abolish the quota system.

“(This) will take the party back to the way it was, when elections for leaders were more open,” he said.

shahrir samadOutspoken supreme council member Shahrir Abdul Samad also supported the proposal, saying “we are proud to say that Johor Bahru Umno has been consistent in its stand against the quota”.

The Johor Bahru division was among seven that had opposed the condition set by previous Umno president Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 1988.

The system was implemented after Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s failed attempt to challenge Dr Mahathir for the presidency in 1987.

muhyiddin yassin and farmers breeders and agricultureMuhyiddin had earlier explained why the restriction should be lifted: “The nomination quota will encourage money politics as those who want to contest will buy enough nominations.

“It also creates an unhealthy political culture as some of the delegates might not nominate someone if it is viewed as disrespectful or rebellion against the leadership,” he was quoted as saying in press reports.

Dissenting views

However, resurrected Umno politician Muhammad Muhd Taib, the party information chief, has reportedly said there is nothing wrong with the system since it was introduced some 20 years ago.

muhammad muhd taib“The quota was established to ensure only genuine candidates could vie for party posts. If the quota is removed, anyone can contest despite not getting the support of the majority at the divisional level,” he was quoted as saying.

Puteri Umno chief Noraini Ahmad said the quota ensures that candidates will have strong grassroots support before challenging for positions.

“Only those who are capable of breaking the barrier will have more credibility to challenge the president.”

noh omarSelangor Umno leader Noh Omar said the quota system actually reflects the transparency and fairness of the party.

He said that if anyone achieves the quota, it would mean that the grassroots want change. And an election (for president and deputy president) would be conducted based on a needs basis and not for any other reason.

Meanwhile, Umno deputy president Najib Abdul Razak stayed clear of the debate.

On the sidelines of an event at Bursa Malaysia today, he said “my personal opinion is not important at this stage”.

umno 2007 najib and umno 061107“I see that there are different views on the matter. Therefore, let us study first the effects of the system that has been implemented and the views of the members whether to review it,” he added.

“The final decision will be made by the supreme council (Umno’s top policy making body),” he said.

Need to call a party EGM

Under the party constitution, a candidate wishing to contest the president’s post must obtain nominations from at least 30 percent of the 191 divisions (58 nominations).

Challengers require 20 percent (38) for the deputy president’s post, 10 percent (19) for an elected vice-president’s post, and 5 percent (10) for a seat on the supreme council.

Muhyiddin, who also chairs Umno’s constitution and rules committee, said there are two ways the quota system can be ended.

“The first is for the supreme council to instruct me to make the amendment and for it to be endorsed by an extraordinary general meeting (EGM),” he said in a press report today.

“The second way is for more than half of the states or Umno divisions to ask for an EGM to be held to amend the constitution.”

With the party general assembly is set for Dec 16-20 and the branch meetings are slated to be completed by Aug 24, any proposal to amend the constitution or hold an EGM must be submitted before the divisions hold their meetings from Oct 9-Nov 9.

The nomination process will kick off during branch and divisional meetings, unless there are no contests this time around for the top two posts.

Abdullah, 68, has claimed a mandate to rule despite the unprecedented election losses, but observers say he is on borrowed time.

Senior lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, 71, had said he would challenge Abdullah’s leadership if he received enough support.

Razaleigh has also called for an EGM to discuss the poll setback but he has received lukewarm support from Umno leaders. He may get his wish should there be an EGM held to abolish the quota system.

1 Response to "Malaysiakini: Pressure mounts against quotas in Umno polls"

As far as I am concerned there is no difference which system UMNO decides…..none of them is suitable to lead this country which they have destroyed beyond salvation as long as they are still in command.

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Must Attend Program

Please go to this link: https://justice4allkuantan.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/invitation-public-forum-the-isa-and-the-police-reform-process-whats-next-after-pak-lah/
To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards of people - Emily Cox

Siphoning EPF money

On 'Why should Valuecap borrow from EPF?' Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud: MTUC condemns the government's move to bail out Valuecap to support the local stock market using RM5 billion from EPF, as the provident fund is the custodian of the workers' money and not some sort of ‘automated teller machine' for the government.
If at all the EPF were to lend its money to the government, it has to be under the condition that there be transparency and accountability in the activities for which the money has been purposed. We want to know who is doing what with the money that belongs to the workers. This is the hard-earned money of the workers, their retirement plan. How is this bailout plan going to benefit the workers? We also question the reason for this bailout. If the economic fundamentals in Malaysia are strong and reserves sufficient as has been stated several times by the government, then why is there a need to offer so much money to the GLCs? Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop should prove how the EPF would profit from this loan. Bernama had reported that Nor had given the assurance that the loan given out by EPF would reap profits for the fund judging from Valuecap's past performance. But where is the paperwork and calculations to show that this move will benefit the EPF? MTUC is concerned that the loan might be mismanaged or misused and this, in turn, would affect the returns for the contributors. Mere assurances are not enough. We want to proof that this RM5 billion will not go down the drain. (The writer is president, MTUC). Sharyn: The government wants to use our pension money to prop up the Malaysian stock market which is the playing field of the rich people. If so, the government must ensure that the EPF account holders - who are predominantly the poor to average citizens of Malaysia - be guaranteed all of our pension money with a compound 8% growth (interest). It's so selfish and sick of the government to use the poor's pension money to help the rich to make more money with all the risks taken by the poor/average citizen. We can better use the RM% billion loans to Valuecap for our children's education, shelter, medical bills etc. Why not get those rich people to prop up the share market instead? Why should they park their money overseas and gamble with our EPF money instead? Kumar14: Who is behind this Valuecap organisation? Why suddenly, this separate entity is allowed to access funds from the EPF? Are they capable enough to handle it or is it just another desperate and blind move? It has been a very infamous trend where the people's funds are channeled to a company for investment purposes and suddenly POP! the funds disappear and there is nobody to be held responsible but a RM2 shell company. Charge who? Sue whom? The RM2 company (just a registered name)? We have seen this many times. People in power and with connections allow such things to go through and reap/rob the people's wealth and then blame it on organisations which actually don't exist. What if a lot of EPF funds are looted via such scams and nobody is to be pointed at? Where will the government get the funds to replenish the EPF? The people are very bored, disappointed, angry and frustrated at seeing all these dumb and unaccounted for measures being allowed by the government with lame excuses. Please, somebody verify the true purpose, integrity and capability of anybody attempting to use the people's fund.

Raja Petra

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ANWAR IBRAHIM

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