Onn Hafiz sets out to fulfil grandpa's wish

THE name Onn Hafiz Ghazi may not ring a bell among Umno members but he has two of the party’s legends – Umno founder Datuk Onn Jaafar and party president Tun Hussein Onn – in his blood. 

Hussein, the third prime minister, was his grandfather while Onn was his great-grandfather. 

It may be a tough act to follow in the footsteps of these two Umno giants but Onn Hafiz, 25, has already taken the first step. 

“I remember my grandfather telling me shortly before his death, ‘Hafiz, God willing, in the future I want you to follow in my footsteps'.” 

Onn Hafiz: Joined the Bukit Bintang Umno division last December.

True to his promise to fulfil his grandfather’s wish, Onn Hafiz became actively involved in the Umno club in London while studying accountancy at the University of Hertfordshire. 

As the club’s information chief, he helped organise numerous career guidance programmes.  

Onn Hafiz, an associate consultant at Price Waterhouse Coopers, has been a member of the Bukit Bintang Umno division since last December, following his uncle Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein’s advice to enter politics. 

His mother Datin Roquaiya Hanim is the eldest sister of Hishammuddin, who is the Umno Youth chief. 

“I realised that if I didn’t start now, when else is the right time? As it is, I’m the only one among my relatives in this age group who is politically inclined. 

“Hopefully, in the future the others will join Umno so that we’ll have more representatives from our family,” Onn Hafiz said. 

His elder brother Muhamad Rhiza, 28, is a lawyer like both their parents, Roquaiya Hanim and Datuk Ghazi Ishak, while his younger brother Onn Ridzwan, 20, is studying medicine. 

Onn Hafiz, who grew up in Penang, said he was close to his grandfather, especially after Hussein’s retirement. 

“Every time my grandfather came to Penang, I would fetch him from the airport. During the school holidays, I used to go to Kuala Lumpur once a month to visit him,” he said, remembering his grandfather as a knowledgeable and well-read man. 

“After his retirement, my grandfather read a lot. Right after breakfast, he would begin reading,” he said, adding that he learnt to be honest and humble from him.  

Onn Hafiz idolises his great-grandfather, Onn, whom he admires for his contributions to Umno.  

“He did it out of passion and love. He didn’t expect anything in return. I would like these traits to be a part of me,” he said.  

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