5 core parties in ‘new’ BN, says Zahid

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today revealed plans to rebrand Barisan Nasional (BN), saying the former ruling coalition would now comprise of five political parties and also allow direct membership from individuals.

The five parties are Umno, MCA, MIC, MyPPP, and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah.

He said BN would also work with other political parties which share its ideals.

He said the new BN will also include political parties that are Umno-friendly, NGOs and direct members who do not want to be part of any political party.

Delivering his first policy speech for the Umno general assembly today, Zahid, who took over the Umno presidency last June, also proposed that a president should only serve a maximum of two terms.

“Let’s discuss and debate on this issue,” he told some 3,000 delegates at the Putra World Trade Centre.

He said a political school would be set up to train Umno members, including its MPs and state assemblymen who are now part of the opposition.

Zahid said the party had to accept the fact that it was now reduced to only ruling Perlis and Pahang.

“If there are Umno members who find it hard to play their role as an opposition (politician), be patient.”

Zahid said he had been busy “focusing on the management of the party” since assuming the presidency.

In his speech, he spoke of seven measures to strengthen the party, touching on, among others the party constitution, membership, party structure, IT and the institution of Umno.

He said the disciplinary board would be restructured and key performance index to gauge programmes carried out by members would be implemented.