Sunday, November 04, 2007

Militancy not my style, says Hisham

KUALA LUMPUR: It has been nine years since Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein took over the helm of Umno Youth from Datuk Zahid Hamidi.
And he admits his style of leadership and approach had been different from that of his predecessors.

Hishammuddin: Does not condone excessive and emotional approachesHe is aware that many perceived him to be lembik (soft) simply because he does not condone excessive and emotional approaches.
“But we (Umno Youth) still get things done. We have been tested many times and triumphed each time without having to take matters to the streets.
“I don’t believe in behaving like the (militant groups) al-Maunnah and al-Qaeda to be noticed.
“What is the point when you end up holing up in caves?” he asked during a recent interview at his house here.
Hishammuddin said he will explain his personal style of leadership and the spirit of his struggle in his policy speech at the Umno Youth general assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre on Tuesday.
He said it was also the most opportune time for him to prepare incoming leaders of what to expect, as there would be more than 50% new faces in the movement’s national and state line-ups since many of the present crop have breached the 40-year age limit.
“Central to our new agenda is getting closer to the youths outside the party – a task we had sadly neglected when we were putting our house in order,” said Hishammuddin.
He also wants to rid the movement of cliques, adding that while this problem could be damaging to unity it was thankfully not widespread.
“I have tried talking to those involved in an indirect manner, but they either did not understand or just refused to.
“So I am issuing this warning. Continue to do so at your peril.
“I can guarantee your name will not make it to the list of candidates in the next general election,” he added.
On the popular perception that many Umno Youth leaders are “in there” to attain wealth through political networking rather than to uphold the interest of the ordinary Malays, he said:
“That perception is not entirely wrong. Once you become an Umno leader, the type of car you drive, your house and what you wear will be under strict scrutiny.
“That is why I have ordered all Umno Youth leaders to always don our white official uniform at party-related functions,” he added, conceding that many still refused to do so.

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