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Hipsters and other Umno problems, according to Zahid

Geraldine Tong  |  Published:  |  Modified:

In his newly-launched book, Umno acting deputy president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi discusses 10 issues that Umno should tackle in preparation for the upcoming general election.

"The reality is that unrest in the party is just part of the normal cycle and should not be denied.

"What is important is how we deal with them (the problems)," he said in the foreword of the book titled 'General Election's Drums of War: Strategies to Strengthen the Party'.

The book, which is about 100 pages and which features caricatures printed in full colour, was launched today at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).

The issues listed in the book included things like hipsters, satay politics and power of the people.

Below are the ten issues, as put forth by Ahmad Zahid.

1. People power

Umno's failure to win in several areas in the past elections is a show of the people's power, Zahid said in the book.

"This happened because values have changed and as such, we should also change our methods and ways.

"And stop blaming others," he added.

2. One tune, one step

There is a problem of inconsistency in the actions of Umno and the BN component parties, he wrote.

"For the party, all members and leaders need to unite and set aside their differences," he said.

There is also the issue of "inside persons", he said, who help the opposition by providing information to them.

3. Unity and teamwork

There are arrogant leaders who do not care about their grassroots and prioritise themselves over the party's fight, he criticised.

Using fireflies as an analogy, Zahid said that when the insects gather, their light shine far brighter than when they are alone.

4. Satay politics

Like cooking satay, there are those in the party who "fan the flames" and incite more problems for the party, he said.

This will only cause fissures in the party, he added.

5. Sharing responsibility

Another problem is that there is a lack of camaraderie among party members and component parties impeding ability to solve people's problems, Zahid said

"If we want to be strong and sturdy, the grassroots must be loyal and follow the instructions of the leaders.

"Leaders have weaknesses because they are not omnipotent and need the help of others," he quoted his own speech at Bera, Pahang Umno division meeting earlier this year.

6. Groundwork

Local leaders, he lamented, tend to only meet the people on the ground on special occasions such as during elections or a visit from a top leader, so locals do not trust them.

They need to be able to win the hearts and minds of the rakyat by doing their groundwork, he said.

7. Cah keting (Sabotage)

People do not hate Umno, he said, but only the negative behaviour of a small group of party members.

These members are those who always cause internal conflicts and pitting people against each other for their own personal gains.

"Set aside your arrogance," he advised.

8. Hipsters

The urban youths are dissatisfied about many complex issues which are different from issues faced by those outside the city, he said.

"The hipster culture is a trend which has become the norm for the middle-class youths in the city.

"But they are underserved and not given enough attention by leaders in some areas, even though they are actually an important group of voters in cities," he said.

9. Longevity

Umno needs leaders who have longevity and competitiveness to be able to face challenges, he said.

Members, meanwhile, need to be loyal not just to the leaders but most importantly, to the party.

Leaders come and go, he said, but the party is the core of their fight.

10. Culture of comfort

Leaders are too confident that they will have no difficulty defending their incumbencies in their areas, he said.

They are too busy holding positions and lobbying themselves as candidates but they do not meet their grassroots, he lamented.

"The rakyat distanced themselves from Umno because they feel neglected and this leads them to side with the opposition instead," he pointed out.

Set aside this culture of comfort, he urged Umno leaders, and double efforts to snatch back areas and states that have been taken by the opposition.

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