Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Amendments to UMNO's Constitution

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Amendments to UMNO's Constitution

Article excerpt

After its General Assembly in May, UMNO prepared to amend its Constitution. Initially, there was a proposal to reduce the term of its office-bearers within the Supreme Council and allow some 30,000 members to participate in party elections instead of the 2,000 or so delegates to the assemblies. Later, there emerged an alternative proposal to prolong the term of office from three to five years. Rafidah Aziz, head of Wanita UMNO (Women's Wing), also suggested that the post of the three Vice-Presidents be scrapped. None of these ideas were accepted. A proposal for the setting-up of a Women's Youth wing, the Puteri UMNO, hit a snag, with women leaders expressing their differences over its terms of reference, particularly the age requirements for membership into the new wing. UMNO also moved to set up service centres, perhaps modelled on a successful Malaysian Chinese Association project, with the opening of a Civil Action Bureau in Sungai Way in October 2000. There is no evidence that UMNO is succeeding in getting more youth to join the movement. As of now, the image of UMNO Youth does not appear to have gone through any "reinvention". It was still playing out its role as the vociferous, aggressive, agitator arm of the party, as witnessed during the Suqiu Appeals controversy. …

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