Football, sleepovers in new Youth chief’s strategy to revive Umno

Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki (left) with his deputy Shahril Hamdan, after they were announced winners in the wing’s elections. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Newly minted Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said there was a need for Umno to get rid of what he termed as an “elitist” culture within the party, in the quest to get back support following its electoral defeat last month.

Asyraf said he would embark on a nationwide tour to visit the party’s 191 divisions, but said this time, Umno leaders like him would spurn the comfort of spending the night in hotels.

“No more sleeping at hotels,” he told reporters today, hours after being declared the winner in the race for the Youth chief’s post.

“We will sleep at Umno Youth leaders’ houses at villages instead.

“We want to be with them, the youth. They want to be heard, so we will hear them out to get feedback from them,” said the former deputy minister who was in charge of Islamic affairs.

Asyraf said Umno leaders should “remove the culture of the elites”, and instead be with the common people.

“We will play football together, do halaqah (discussion groups) together,” he said, adding that rebuiling the party was his top priority at the moment.

He said when Umno lost in the 1969 elections, there were serious attempts to strengthen the party by bringing back veteran leaders.

“History showed that if Umno itself was strong and still accepted by people, the other component parties will also be strong,” he said, when asked about the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition now left with only Umno, MCA and MIC.