KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin supports the proposal by the Wanita wing to have a fourth vice-president seat that is to be open only to the women members in Umno, saying the party has to “move with the times”.
The Youth and Sports Minister said he had spoken about this with Wanita Umno head Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.
“At first, I thought it was not necessary as the position of Wanita chief was already a leadership role,” he said after a National Civics Bureau event at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia here yesterday.
“However, she explained that it was important for there to be female leaders in the mainstream,” said Khairy, adding that it was also the wish of the Youth wing to see more young people taking political roles.
“There is justification for this. Umno has to move with the times. We do not want to end up as a party of elderly men,” he quipped, joking that at 38 he was “close to menopause” in his role as Youth chief.
“There must be young people and women in leadership. I personally support Wanita Umno in their quest as we must have greater diversity in political leadership; not just males over 50 but a combination,” said Khairy, pointing out that 65% of university students were women.
The Wanita Umno annual division general meetings, which started on Aug 8 and due to end by the middle of next month, had started to debate on the proposal.
Forty-eight divisions from the 191 Wanita divisions in the country have held their meetings and the lone dissenting voice so far is from the Cheras division.
The move is expected to be tabled as a resolution at the Umno general assembly later in the year.