Umno Youth has grown lethargic, unattractive, says former party exco

Salhan K. Ahmad

Umno Youth chief Muhamad Akmal Saleh has had to fight his battles alone without the support of the wing members, says a former party leader. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, June 21, 2024.

A LEADERSHIP vacuum in Umno Youth has caused the group to be unable to take charge and play a stronger role in setting the nation’s political agenda, a former party leader said.

Armand Azha Abu Hanifah, a former Umno Youth exco member, said the division should be a catalyst for change so that Umno returns to being the dominant party.

He added Umno Youth has now become lethargic and unattractive to young people because it has stopped carrying out programmes to attract them.

Armand also expressed his disappointment that only the Umno Youth chief Muhamad Akmal Saleh is speaking up while his colleagues have failed to back him.

“The exco team should always stand with the Umno Youth leader. They should not leave the leader alone,” the senator told The Malaysian Insight.

He said this was evident when Akmal came under attack from various quarters for highlighting several controversial issues.

“For example, in the KK Mart issue, the Umno Youth leader was alone in dealing with the issue. The exco should have spoken out in support of their leader’s stand.”

He was referring to the sale of religiously offensive socks in KK Mart, which prompted Akmal to call for a boycott against the supermarket.

His continuous attacks on the issue saw him being arrested by the police and even prompted Umno to stop the campaign against KK Mart.

Armand said all previous Umno Youth leaders enjoyed the full support of their exco team.

He said former youth wing leaders such as Khairy Jamaluddin or Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki did not face such a problem.

“That was why Umno Youth succeeded in helping to change the government’s policies and decisions at the time,” he said, citing the example of the minimum wage.

“But this is not the situation now. In the case of Akmal, it was me who had to issue a statement to defend him,” he said.

He said that youth wing, once led by firebrand leaders, was failing on all fronts.

“This is why I do not expect Umno Youth to produce figures who are capable of becoming great leaders like before,” he said.

He noted that Umno Youth was more vocal when Barisan Nasional was in power, criticising and pressuring the government on issues and policies.

“Umno Youth needs to be more vocal in supporting the government so that Umno can return to being the dominant party in the government,” he added.

Akmal won the Umno Youth leadership position in the party elections in March last year.

So far, he remains the only vocal Umno Youth leader addressing concerns over several issues.

In recent weeks, Akmal has been loud in his opposition to open Universiti Teknologi Mara to non-Bumiputera students. – June 21, 2024.

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  • This writer can't be further from the truth. Its a stupid anti government Akmal that makes the rest quiet and unattractive. They need to throw this guy as far as possible and it will still not be far enough.

    Posted 1 month ago by Alphonz Jayaraman · Reply