KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 2): Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the coalition’s new and young candidates for the 15th general election (GE15) are part of rejuvenation efforts to stay relevant.
He said young people should be given the appropriate platform and position to ensure the voices of those under 40 are not sidelined.
“We need to accept that under-40 voters represent around 50 per cent of voters nationwide who will vote in GE15.
“So, we need to ensure that BN Youth and Puteri members are on the right track while on the frontlines.
“We need to change. In politics, no one single person is indispensable, but all are important,” said Ahmad Zahid on his official Facebook page today.
He appeared to be commenting on yesterday’s BN GE15 parliamentary candidate announcement that saw several seasoned politicians and ministers dropped in favour of new faces.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Umno president, said those who have been in politics for a long time have to act in an exemplary manner and make way for the young.
“The young ones will take their place to ensure renewed leadership continuity for the future.
“When you are not listed, it does not mean that you are not important. We can’t be in the same position forever as we must make way for the new candidates,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid said it was not an easy task to choose the best among the best as many things were taken into account before the list was finalised.
“It is not easy to make such critical decisions. However, resolute, bold and wise decisions must be made in an effort to revive both Umno and BN.
“If Umno and BN do not make changes now, it may cause the party to fall behind when competing parties are willing to change,” he said, especially for candidates contesting in GE15.
Ahmad Zahid said the voice of youth is very important and the coalition needs to listen and provide new candidates a chance to contest.
“For those who have been elected representatives for a long time, they need to give the youth a chance to take their place.
“Without this kind of support, they would not be able to be elected representatives for long terms.
“For those that are not selected, it is now the time for them to show the right attitude and accept it with an open heart, just as when they were given the same opportunity many years ago,” said Ahmad Zahid.
The incumbent Bagan Datuk MP also urged those who were not chosen to refrain from showing any dissatisfaction, anger, protest or sabotage by closing campaign operations rooms and giving statements that would undermine their party’s reputation.
He cautioned that such traits would only show their true colours towards the party.
“The people would evaluate such an attitude.
“At the moment, closing ranks and loyalty to the party are more important than grumbling about not being chosen,” said Ahmad Zahid.
Therefore, he urged anyone who is dissatisfied not to betray the party.
“If this happens, it means they were ungrateful as they have been relevant all this while by holding their positions for a long time under Umno and BN party tickets,” said Ahmad Zahid. – Malay Mail