This was in NST's Friday edition covering the UMNO Convention last week.
WIN BACK THE HEARTS OF THE MALAYS
The vice chief of Umno’s Pulai division talks to FAUZIAH ISMAIL about where the party should head.
Q: Do you think delegates took heed of the president's advice to them on how they should vote?
A: No, even if it was a sound one because we had pretty much made our minds up to clean up
the house after him.
Q: How did you arrive at the decision?
A: Well, I actually could think of only 15 worthy candidates. Unfortunately, I'm compelled to add another 10 names who are not so worthy leaders or my ballot will be considered spoiled. I offered my friends from the general public to provide me with 10 names, who they think are capable, willing and responsible from an outsider's point of view. They gave me six that I hadn't already chosen and I forced myself to complete the task by adding four of the best among the worst from the remainder.
Q: What is the importance of state representation? Do you think all the candidates from your state will make it?
A: State representation shouldn't be the way to choose our leaders because if we decide on quotas, we will end up with the lousy ones from the losing states again.
Johor delegates are very strict in ensuring that only the best and quality leaders are picked from the state. I declare that I did not vote for three of them; one for vice-president and the others for the supreme council.
Q: What are your hopes post-Umno general assembly, with a new president, a new deputy president and some new office bearers?
A: My hope is for the new president to remember that he is the president of Umno first before he is the prime minister of Malaysia and, together with the deputy president and the new brass, win back the hearts of the Malays who are split almost in the middle. They should work towards making Barisan National popular as opposed to making the prime minister a household name like in the past.
From the new office bearers, I hope for more sincerity in serving the members of Umno and people of Malaysia instead of serving their boss, because the better they serve the rakyat, the longer their boss will have a job and BN will stay in power.
Q: What do you personally want to see the new president do first?
A: I want the new president, having been guided by Allah SWT, to safely take his oath of office as the sixth prime minister of Malaysia, to stonewash the whole cabinet and fill it with a mixture of many new faces and some senior ones who can work with him proactively to serve the Malays and the people of Malaysia.
May Allah guide Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak to steer this great nation forward.