Party posts not heirlooms, Zahid tells Umno veterans

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi echoed Najib’s call for renewal in Umno's leadership, urging senior party leaders to be cognizant of their position and extent of their influence among the grassroots. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi echoed Najib’s call for renewal in Umno's leadership, urging senior party leaders to be cognizant of their position and extent of their influence among the grassroots. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

PUTRAJAYA, Nov 23 — Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today urged his contemporaries to make way for the young to take rise, as he echoed party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s call for the party to embrace youths as an “investment” for the future.

He said this is now the time of those from Generations X and Y to take on the mantle of leadership in the Barisan Nasional (BN) lynchpin, especially since amendments have been made to the party constitution allowing direct membership to Umno without having to sign on to any party division or branch.

“The era has passed. The opportunity should be given to the young. We are not warlords who consider party posts to be our possessions or should be handed down to our bloodline,” he said at a news conference after officiating at the Film Censorship Board’s 60th anniversary Carnival.

Earlier today, Najib said Umno must come to terms with current political realities and embrace youths if they hope to restore their waning influence in urban centres.

Taking a dig at senior party leaders who allegedly sabotage recruitment of young members in fear of losing their party posts, the prime minister said they risk becoming politically obsolete if the party does not work on reinvigorating its ranks with new blood.

Ahmad Zahid today echoed Najib’s call for renewal, urging senior party leaders to be cognizant of their position and extent of their influence among the grassroots.

“When you get the signal that you are no longer wanted, it is best to step down before you are made to leave,” he said.