One step closer to putting Wanita Umno chief on par with deputy president

Wanita Umno chief Noraini Ahmad speaks at the launch of the women’s wing’s meeting at PWTC in Kuala Lumpur today.

KUALA LUMPUR: Wanita Umno chief Noraini Ahmad says a motion will be tabled tomorrow for an amendment to the party’s constitution allowing the leader of the women’s wing a rank equal to that of the party’s deputy president.

She said the motion would be raised and decided on at the party’s main annual general meeting tomorrow. She added that this was the first time a formal motion was being tabled.

“This is the first time that it’s being brought as a resolution in a constitutional amendment. Before this, there were only discussions at the Supreme Council and management level.

“Before this, it was just informal discussions, like a kind of brainstorm, but this time it was formally discussed and will be formally brought up.

“We have held engagements at the grassroots level, and God willing it will be agreed to,” she said in a press conference after opening the women’s wing’s meeting at PWTC here today.

Noraini said this would not mean a separate deputy president post, only that the women’s chief would fill in for the party president and deputy if they were for some reason unable to perform their duties.

She said this was part of Umno’s “new deal” in the party’s shake-up to empower women, adding that it had been discussed for nearly 10 years.

“According to membership, Wanita Umno is the biggest (party wing). I want to thank the president and leadership of the party for trusting women in carrying this motion.”

She added that it was “not impossible” for a woman to become party president one day, but said this would be up to the delegates and members.

“We see the facts that women can become leaders all over, and this is an acknowledgement of Wanita Umno for which we thank the party’s leadership,” she said.

In her opening speech at the women’s wing’s meeting today, Noraini warned members against being complacent and overconfident following Barisan Nasional’s (BN) victories in multiple by-elections this year.

She recalled how BN had garnered a major victory in the 2016 Sungai Besar by-election but still lost the 2018 general election.

“The consensus in by-elections and general elections are very different. We might win not because of our strength but because the people want to send a reminder to the Pakatan Harapan government.

“We must be careful, aware and always ready. So it’s necessary that we plan early steps, great steps and solid steps so that the momentum is not lost when the 15th general election comes,” she said.