Umno's new generation needs to fit in the new political eco-system, to survive

KOUSALYA SELVAM
KOUSALYA SELVAM
09 Mar 2023 07:54pm
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MELAKA - The political landscape in Malaysia has evolved to become so dynamic that the current generation must be able to familiarise themselves with the new political eco-system.

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Political Sciences senior lecturer Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said Umno's brand of dynasty politics seems to be going through significant changes, with the recent sacking, suspending, and certain high profile members joining different political parties.

"The dynasty politics is seeing a change with Mukhriz Mahathir creating his own party (Pejuang), Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein (suspended in Umno) and Khairy Jamaluddin who is the son-in-law of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi being sacked by Umno.

"Dynasty politics will continue, we (political experts) are observing how some are trying to get involved still, its not only happening at the higher levels, but it is also happening at the division levels and Umno wings," he said to Sinar Daily

Sivamurugan was commenting on the new generation of Umno, namely from legacies such as Tun Razak's family, the Onn family, current Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's family and more.

When asked on the possibilities for the younger generation to live up to the standards of their fathers and forefathers, Sivamurugan said the younger set should use a multi-dimensional approach to fit into today's political dynamics.

He said the current political leaders of today need to make use of various social media platforms as it has become the political platform of the future.

"The new generation needs to move from conventional methods and look for opportunities to strengthen their position via projection of themselves and the party they belong to

" They can do this through all sorts of platforms, which can also be used to listen to the people and also reach out to people with what their intentions are in leading

"They need to build reputation, show a charismatic and credible kind of leadership yo gain more followers," he said.

He added that the younger generation of today are leaning towards a party-less concept and are willing to support leaders who protect their interest, demands and needs.

"The generation of old did not have various platforms available to them like what we have today, to communicate and reach their targeted groups.

"Those days, loyalty comes first but today social media has become the most important medium and has changed all that," he said

Meanwhile Universiti Teknologi MARA, senior lecturer Dr Aziz Azizam said it is now the time for the new generation to hold top positions in Umno or any party and it is something that is natural and not strange.

"When their family member or parent has held top position in politics, it benefits their life experiences, to have mentorship, exposure to leadership opportunities and exposure to the public.

"This is what gives them the advantage to get selected to lead a particular party.

"However, to measure the credibility of leadership by comparing with what has been done by the previous generation of leaders is quite difficult as there has been complex variables changes in time," he said.

Aziz said the younger set of leaders should be able to implement more effective formulas in handling difficult issues such as unity, economic inequality and empowering the majority group who are still being left far behind.

Universiti Putra Malaysia political analyst Datuk Prof Dr Jayum Anak Jawan is of the opinion that the current crop of younger politicians even from legacy families have been unable to live up to the standards set by their fathers and forefathers

"Anyone can be elected as Umno leader, but to be a leader is beyond getting elected.

"He or she must have the knowledge, confidence, trust of members, a role model that members want to emulate and must be highly educated and has wisdom

"Who among Umno leaders now have these qualities that were posessed by Tunku Abdul Rahmab, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Hussein Onn and even Tun Dr Mahathir," he said.

He also said that many young politicians from these legacy families have been disappointing as they have only come to the spotlight due to their well-known parents.

"Umno is like a Titanic, it hit the iceberg in 2018, and is sinking slowly. It does not have a good and acceptable team to steer the Umno ship back to its former glory.

"The recent crop of potential leaders are not going to resurrect Umno, as they are not there because they are good but they happened to be there when no one is around," he said.

Malaysia's largest political party Umno will hold its main election on March 18.

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The elections for the party wings – Wanita, Youth, and Puteri – will be held simultaneously but earlier, on March 11.

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