Moving towards GE15: Umno’s Shahril asks party to focus on non-cliche economic offers for youths instead of repackaging old ones

Yiswaree Palansamy
·3-min read
Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan called on Umno leaders to think up new ideas to attract youth. — Photo by Hari Anggara.
Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan called on Umno leaders to think up new ideas to attract youth. — Photo by Hari Anggara.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — Umno information chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan today called on his party leaders to draw up economic offers for youths who are affected by the economic uncertainty and called for more radical ideas in bringing effective change, instead of repackaging cliche ideas.

In his winding up speech for the 2020 Umno Youth wing annual general meeting (PAU 2020), Shahril said that Umno needs to capture and win the imagination of the youths who are far more concerned about financial issues rather than politics.

He also called on Umno to spearhead law amendments initiatives, particularly to limit the term of the prime minister and enforce the anti-party hopping law, to show voters that the party is willing to make political changes as well.

“At that time the impression of voters was Umno is dirty, Umno is corrupt, Umno is evil. Life is difficult with the prices of things, prices of petrol increasing, while Umno leaders are living a cosy life. Now that was our problem. That is why it is important for us to win their imagination. For this matter, we have to make sure we know what is important to the young voters.

“In 2019, many scientific surveys, including international organisations as well as local bodies like Merdeka Center showed that, more than any other issues, are economic issues. Not those concerning the set division between Umno, PAS and Bersatu,” he said, adding that youths are waiting to see which of the bickering parties are able to offer them hope, to help address the increasingly taxing living condition.

He said while many lawmakers are busy jumping parties, investors are also “jumping away” from Malaysia to other nations.

Shahril also warned that if Umno does not get proactive and practical in its offers, Perikatan Nasional (PN) would then table an election budget for 2022, to appeal to voters and emerge popular.

“Must be realistic like I said earlier, but must be brave, must be radical. Must be specific and easy to understand and not long and winding and not just mere promises, such as creating more job opportunities, funds for entrepreneurs. Those are not examples of specific offers. Too cliche, too normal. Nothing radical, nothing that is interesting, nothing which overhauls the economic system.

“Just mere seasoning, adding some chilli and repackaged but one which is still within the same frame. It does not reflect an Umno that is brave to go against the tide,” he added.

Shahril called on Umno to start cracking on ideas now, and not wait any longer.

“I do not want to get too technical as this is a political stage, but I just ask that you imagine. Imagine if we, Umno can convince voters, and if Umno wins, and Umno gets a hold of the prime minister’s post, the problem of unemployment is sorted. If we’ve got no guts to do this for everyone, no guts to do this forever, let us do it first for workers below 35-years old, and we run it (the initiative) for one year. Let us see what happens.

“This is what a new deal is. This is bravery. This is what I meant,” Shahril added.

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