Comeback kid on the Umno block

  • Nation
  • Monday, 04 May 2009

Umno's new comeback kid

PETALING JAYA: Umno’s new executive secretary Datuk Abdul Rauf Yusoh is the new “comeback kid” on the Umno block.

A true blue party man, the former Umno Youth assistant secretary has set his mind to making Umno headquarters a more open domain for members.

In a recent interview, Abdul Rauf admitted he was Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s man, in that he shared the same aspirations for Umno and the Malays, but denied that he belonged to the Prime Minister’s inner circle.

He attributed his appointment to his experience and understanding of the workings of Umno hierarchy.

He was also quick to point out that he had no aspiration to go higher in the party.

“I am not interested in becoming a Member of Parliament or a state assemblyman. I just want to serve the party. I have friends who are leadership material, but I am just party material and I will never cross beyond that,” he said.

On his biggest challenge ahead, Rauf said it would be keeping members on the straight and narrow path besides ensuring that everyone received a fair treatment.

He also promised to release Umno divisions from the shackles of power brokers. This was an integral part in making Umno a more open, inclusive and democratic party.

“As an administrator, I will not take sides. I will introduce a work culture that is more open for the benefit of the members and the party. Umno needs the best treatment to become strong again,” said Rauf.

With a total of 20,241 branches and membership surpassing three million, it is not going to be an easy feat, but Rauf was confident it could be done provided everyone was willing to respect the party’s regulations and constitution.

Umno, said Rauf, needed to shed its image as an exclusive party.

“It is illogical that in certain divisions the father is the division head, the mother is the Wanita head, the daughter is the Puteri chief and the son is the Umno Youth chief,” he said.

On the party’s online registration to attract more young professionals he said there had been 14,000 new applications to date.

Rauf also said Umno planned to introduce new programmes, such as training and motivational courses to attract youths, particularly the first-time voters.

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