NEWLY-elected Puteri Umno chief Mas Ermieyati Samsudin wants the wing to shed its image as a grouping of “pretty faces or cheerleaders”.She said Puteri Umno needed to transform into a strong, indispensable part of the party and prove itself worthy of greater responsibilities.
“We must work to change this negative perception. We want people to say, without Puteri, what is Umno!” she said when making her maiden policy address at the wing’s general assembly.
Mas Ermieyati called on Puteri leaders at all levels to be enthusiastic, hardworking and unwavering to ensure that the party leadership accorded the wing the recognition and opportunities it deserved.
She also urged Umno division leaders to give more responsibilities and support to Puteri division leaders as they were educated young women with experience in their respective fields.
“Training sessions will be held to ensure each new member embraces and embodies Umno and the Puteri Umno spirit.
“This is in line with the needs of young people today, who demand that leaders be transparent, vocal and act with integrity,” she said.
Mas Ermieyati said Puteri Umno would carry out research on issues affecting young women, adding that there would be more first-time voters at the next general election.
She also announced that a Friends of Puteri Bureau would be formed to draw the support of young people from all creeds and races, noting that the drop in Chinese support for Barisan Nasional proved crucial in the 13th general election.
“Today’s political era requires us to adopt a progressive new approach. There are 35% of young women in this country supporting the Opposition. Make this statistic a challenge. We pledge to reduce this number,” she said.
She also proposed that Umno do away with the three-year minimum requirement for members to contest for posts, saying that such conditions would prevent many young women from joining the leadership.
On the alarming divorce rate among Muslims, Mas Ermieyati said Puteri Umno would propose to the Education Ministry that family-skills be taught in schools and universities as the current two-day marriage course was insufficient.