Youth leadership needs to be younger

Youth leadership needs to be younger

Datuk Mohd Imran Tamrin

ITS not too long ago, i read somewhere that majority of under 21 voters are seeing Umno as an archaic, legendary and irrelevant dinosaurs. This was really disheartening to me.

It was an organisation that inspite of its name promoting Malay unity regardless of background, age and creed – has served Malaysians very well for the last six decades of nation-building.

To notice the rejection of many youth voters even in my own constitutency made me self-reflect. Perhaps the generation gap was too wide.

After all the last two Umno icons for Pemuda was Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi in his mid 40s and Khairy Jamaluddin which is still popular but now sacked are no longer in the early 40s age bracket.

Both of them did tremendously well in the last decade but it would seem the old formula is no longer enough. Experience doesn’t translate to votes.

Inspite of having the most pious Ketua Pemuda in recent times, religious youth continued to flock to PAS. Earstwhile, the liberal urban crowd adore KJ but refused to vote us in.

This is truly bafffling. But, we couldn’t rule out Umno just yet. It is still too young and has yet to give her all to the people. For example, our leadership at the international arena was so overwhelming that a Minister not among MPs is selected to be a cabinet member – Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Another example is the recent explosive controversy of our 5G initiatives to consider Huawei/ZTE to be part of DNB which is already controversial overseas over spying allegations , data security and intellectual property theft.

This should concern us because we are facing critical cases of foreign power incursions into territories near Sabah & Sarawak waters. Any foreign powers obtaining advantage by hacking into our system would jeopardize our national security.

An Umno minister if selected to be the Comms Minister would’ve prevented this.

When I left Petronas ,i thought i could do my small part to be part of Umno leadership. However, being the youngest state assemblymen is simply isnt enough.

The youth needs to see a complete overhaul of a leadership committee from Pemuda and Puteri ready to understand the plight of the youth. The now suspended Deputy Youth Chief once campaigned on job creation and job guarantee for everyone.

I felt we must fight for more. For too long we youths are severely underpaid. A study i read says that our average salary increment is less than our productivity rate.

Malaysian workers especially young workers are getting paid less for every USD1,000 they generated for their employers. We as a party must aim to change that.

Thus, i am offering myself and hereby extending invite to everyone who felt as young as they can be to connect with the GenZs and Gen Alphas.

We millennials must understand that listening and fighting for our young Malaysians all the time must be our common theme and goal everyday of the week , twice on weekends.

The executive committee lineup for Umno Youth must be younger. I am not trying to say my bretheren in their late 30s are invalid, what i am proposing is quite radical – Umno members must prioritized the future.

The young must act now and i am prepared to be with all of you. I am ready to share my thoughts and commitment to rebuild a progressive, fresh and idea-based leadership in Pemuda.

(The writer is a Sungai Panjang State Assemblyman, Selangor)