Umno Youth: Don’t mistake by-election victories as real support

Umno deputy youth chief Shahril Hamdan delivers his speech during the Umno Youth wing assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur December 5, 2019 — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Umno deputy youth chief Shahril Hamdan delivers his speech during the Umno Youth wing assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur December 5, 2019 — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Umno must not take its recent by-election victories for granted as by-elections are a form of protest by the public to the current ruling administration, observed Youth Umno deputy chief Shahril Hamdan.

Speaking at his wing’s assembly today, Shahril proceeded to question the delegates what would happen if Pakatan Harapan (PH) suddenly began listening to the public and deliver upon its election promises in “Buku Harapan”.

“It is not impossible for the Port Dickson MP to become prime minister. And if he becomes prime minister, it is guaranteed that he will change Tun Dr Mahathir’s policies. Those two never see eye to eye.

“Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has never spoken about the manifesto. That means there’s a possibility that he will deliver on the promises made by PH if he comes into power. If he or Dr Mahathir starts delivering on the promises, what can we do but sit in shock.

“What can we do if toll and PTPTN are abolished? The current wave of support is actually a wave of anger against PH. This is a test for us not to take our victories for granted,” said Shahril.

He pointed out that the government’s flip flop on policies, as well as ministers and MPs who are out of touch with reality on the ground, has courted the ire of the public and the Tanjung Piai voters which gave Barisan Nasional (BN) an overwhelming victory recently.

Among those that came under Shahril’s scope include Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, whose proposal to bring in Indonesia-based motorbike-hailing company Go-jek into the country was slammed as being a “school boy’s effort” at economic policies.

Shahril also criticised Entrepreneurial Development Minister Datuk Seri Redzuan Yusof for the flying car gaffe.

He also reminded the delegates not to return to Umno’s old behaviour of arrogance, political power plays and showing off but instead to remain humble in spite of their recent by-election victories and focus their political will on assisting the nation, its youth and on plans for economic recovery.

Shahril raised the question if Umno had learned from its previous mistakes but also did not discount the contributions the party has made for Malaysia’s nation-building.

“BN did a lot of right things but we also made mistakes. The people will not have issues with our past mistakes, they have already punished us.

“But, if we start criticising the government without providing solution and laugh at the public saying “serves you right for voting in PH”, that is a mistake. We must also remember our weaknesses. I worry that the public will not come back to us unless we acknowledge our mistakes,” said Shahril.

Furthermore, he added that instead of just relying on the public anger against the ruling coalition, Umno must also come up with solutions and strategies to win the hearts and minds of the voters.

Among the problems that Shahril noted was the soaring unemployment rates among youths.

He proposed that should BN take over, the government must come up with a guaranteed job for graduates who want to work with an attractive salary.

“But this does not mean they become civil servants. It is just a temporary measure until they can find work in the private sector. They can become teachers’ assistants and auxiliary police officers,” suggested Shahril.

He added that Putrajaya should also reward companies that share their profit with their employees by providing tax incentives instead of allowing these corporations to swallow the lion’s share of their profit for their respective CEOs and leaving a pittance to their workers.

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