‘Friends in the unity govt’ attend Wanita and Puteri meet

In one voice: Delegates reacting during Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad’s speech at the Wanita Umno assembly at World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: While it was hard not to notice the presence of DAP representatives at the Umno Wanita and Puteri meetings, their hosts somewhat downplayed their attendance.

Instead of announcing that DAP leaders were present in the hall, the two wings’ secretaries merely welcomed “friends in the unity government”.

Deputy Communications and Digital Minister and DAP national publicity secretary Teo Nie Ching as well as Puchong MP Yeo Bee Yin represented their party at the Wanita meeting.

DAP national youth deputy chief and Bentong MP Young Syefura Othman attended the Puteri Umno meeting.

A Wanita delegate said it was “different” seeing DAP representatives at the gathering.

“This is new to us but I guess we need to get used to it,” she said.

The presence of DAP leaders at Umno meetings was a first in the history of both parties.

However, no DAP representatives were seen at the Youth meeting.

Umno Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh explained that the absence of guests from other political parties such as DAP was to allow the members to discuss and focus on internal issues in a frank manner.

“It’s not that we don’t want to be together (with other parties), but I believe that this gathering, the first after the formation of the unity government, should be a platform for us to resolve matters among ourselves,” he added.

Prime Minister and Pakatan Harapan chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is expected to attend the opening of the annual general assembly today.

The same invitation was extended to leaders of the other 18 parties that make up the current administration.

This comes after the formation of the unity government last November that comprises Pakatan, Barisan Nasional – of which Umno is a component member – and other parties.

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