Spotlight only on president’s policy speech – and nothing else – at UMNO’s general assembly

THE forthcoming UMNO general assembly on Jan 13 and 14 would see delegates debating only one motion – the policy speech of the party’s president and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

This is unlike the party’s usual practice where delegates were free to take centre stage to propose and debate both internal and external matters, including national issues concerning economy and education.

The rationale given by the party’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (main pic) is that UMNO does not hold many portfolios in the current government, and thus the relevant ministers are unable to answer issues raised at the party platform.

“Before this, we would have (debates on) the president’s policy speech, and motions on education, religion, economy, and such. But then, we had three days (for the assembly); now, we only have two days,” Malaysiakini cited the Pontian MP and Deputy Finance Minister I as telling a media conference today.

“Besides, we are also not the full government but only part of the unity government. In previous assemblies, we had other motions because the relevant ministers were from UMNO and they could answer. But now, let’s say a motion about the economy: we do not have a minister who holds the relevant post to answer about the issue.”

Added Ahmad: “So, it would be difficult for the ministers in-charge to answer on behalf of the government at our party platform. For example, the minister in-charge of cost of living is not from UMNO although this topic is very popular in every UMNO general assembly.”

However, Ahmad added Zahid who is the Bagan Datuk MP would cover all the relevant aspects in his policy speech for discussion.

However, Malay news portal Sinar Harian reported that Ahmad was both reluctant and tight-lipped when asked by the media if the posts of the party’s president and deputy president will be contested at the forthcoming UMNO general assembly.

Elsewhere, Astro Awani said UMNO will be amending the party’s constitution to be in line with the Anti-Party Hopping Act at the at the party’s general assembly on Jan 13. The matter will be presented by the party’s vice president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

As to whether UMNO would invite all parties which are its allies in the government to attend the assembly, Ahmad said the matter would be decided by the UMNO supreme council during its monthly meeting on Thursday (Jan 5).

In its usual practice, UMNO would usually invite all friendly parties to attend its annual general assembly.

Interestingly, if such trend continues for its upcoming general assembly, several parties might be making an appearance for the first time in the party’s history, notably DAP which used to be UMNO’s arch-enemy-turned-a friendly party.

Below is some important information for the UMNO general assembly:

  • Jan 11-14 (Wednesday-Saturday) at the Merdeka Hall at World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur;
  • Jan 11 (Wednesday) @ 8pm: Inauguration of the Women, Youth and Puteri wings;
  • Jan 13 (Friday) @ 8.30pm: President’s Policy Speech; and
  • Jan 13 (Friday) @ 11.30am: UMNO general assembly to amend two clauses of the party’s constitution. – Jan 3, 2023

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