KUALA LUMPUR: Umno, which will celebrate its 71st birthday tomorrow (May 11), must be more aggressive in warding off the relentless attacks and lies by keyboard warriors against the party on social media in an effort to lure the participation of more young people, say young Malay leaders.
Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia Student Delegates’ Council secretary-general Nor Liyana Izzati Mohd Fauzi said this was crucial to prevent the current generation from believing wholesale the negative picture and invalid information disseminated by some quarters.
She said the Umno social media machinery using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, among other platforms, must be empowered further by channelling correct facts to facilitate the understanding among the Gen Y on issues, including political slander.
“Social media is the main source of reference for youths currently. As such, Umno must take a serious approach which is comprehensive in channelling information on the party, aside from opposing all propaganda, to ensure the party gets the support from the young.
“Their support is crucial in ensuring Umno continue to be relevant in line with its effort to rejuvenate the party as touted by top party leaders while ensuring effective preparation in facing the next general election,” Nor Liyana told Bernama here today.
Overseas Umno Club chairman from Tanta, Egypt, Shahrul Naim Mat Ludin, said Umno leaders in all the party wings must also actively use social media platforms and interact creatively with the Gen Y.
He said they were the best alternatives to approach the young generation and simultaneously listen to what they had to say via a more friendly, relaxed and not overly rigid platform.
“Active approaches on social media, such as that adopted by Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, is among the best examples which should be emulated by other Umno members in their effort to draw the support of youths for the party.
“The launch of the Malaysia4all application by the Malaysia Umno Information Bureau recently is seen as among the positive and forward moving steps by the party in fully using the internet,” Shahrul said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Umno Welfare Bureau committee member Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh said credit must be given to Umno’s top leadership for not lagging in the use of social media as one of the mediums to interact with party members and the people, specifically the young.
“It was difficult to hear the voices of the young in the past due to numerous layers they had to pass through to reach the top leadership. But, now we must credit Najib Razak who is active on social media,” he said.
Akmal said various problems were voiced out by the followers of the Umno president and other Umno leaders on social media, and the response from these leaders were also on the mark and fast.
He said the transformation of Umno must also be done internally whereby party members must be more open to discuss sensitive topics, such as the special privilege of the Malays, to be seen as being more open.
”We have TN50, whereby we discuss our vision for the next 20-30 years, so we must be more open. Umno members must be able to sit down and discuss the relevance of the special privileges of the Malays and how crucial it is.
“We must see Umno as relevant, not only in the eyes of the Malays, but also in the eyes of every Malaysian,” he added.