KUALA LUMPUR – Expecting the 14th general election (GE14) to be very challenging and coloured by defamation and accusations, the Wanita UMNO machinery vows to move more agilely to ward off all propagandas thrown against the party and Barisan Nasional (BN).
Utilising all the opportunities that would be existing during the UMNO 2017 General Assembly which begins this Tuesday, Wanita Chief Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said the key message to party members would certainly lead to a work movement to ensure Umno continues to be the choice of the majority in the coming GE14.
The Wanita movement, which is the backbone of the party, takes great responsibility and is essential to mobilise the election machinery to meet voters in every nook and cranny (of the country) and explain whatever issues arise.
“I expect GE14 to be a general election full of defamations and accusations by the opposition as they see the BN government spearheaded by UMNO and headed by President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has done very well,” she said in an interview with Bernama ahead of the 2017 UMNO General Assembly here.
Describing GE14 as the ‘mother of all elections’, Shahrizat wants the Wanita UMNO machinery and even the whole UMNO to sharpen their tools to deflect the accusations and slanders disseminated by the opposition especially via the social media.
Learning a lesson from the weaknesses in GE13, Shahrizat said that the main wing, which has nearly 1.4 million members, is now more prepared with a number of virtual soldiers to fend off the opposition accusations and slander.
For the former Cabinet minister, who herself could not elude slander and defamations, Shahrizat said the people should also serve as the machinery to clarify and convey the true facts and stop the spread of false news.
The reality that the assembly would be the last before the looming GE14, Shahrizat, who headed the movement from 2009, said the assembly this time would become an important platform and the apex of preparation for the call to ‘battle’.
“The Women’s machinery is the main machinery of the GE, so every machinery in every Parliamentary constituency and State Legislative Assembly (state assembly) is important, though some of the constituencies are considered black and difficult to penetrate, but we will enter all places,” said Shahrizat, a lawyer, who joined UMNO in 1960.
Conceding that no one parliamentary or state constituency is more important than another, she said the Wanita UMNO machinery such as ‘Jalinan Rakyat’, ‘Squad Sayang’ and ‘Annur Squad’ would play very important roles to approach voters.
“All are equally important as, firstly, we want to ensure enough seats to form the government. Secondly, our target is to get the most seats, and, we at least want to increase the popular vote for BN in the hard-to-penetrate areas. As such, there is no area that is not important,” she said,
In the 13th general election, BN won 133 of the 222 parliamentary seats to form the central government. However, the number of popular votes obtained by the BN is 5,237,699 votes compared to the opposition which won 5,623,984 votes for the 89 seats it won. – BERNAMA