KUALA LUMPUR: In what could be a historic move for Wanita Umno, a proposal put forward by the Wanita wing to have a fourth female vice-president is gaining ground.
Discussions on the proposal have begun making the rounds at Wanita Umno annual division general meetings, which began on Aug 8 and will go on until next month.
A resolution is expected to be tabled at the Umno general assembly later in the year.
Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said should it become a reality, it would be an official recognition of Wanita Umno as the backbone of the party and no longer just one of its wings.
“It is a milestone in Umno’s history, as party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak and deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin support the idea.
“The position is in line with the government’s policy of mainstreaming women in decision-making positions as well as keeping up with the national transformation plan envisioned by the prime minister for the country and Umno,” Shahrizat said.
Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin had come out in support of the proposal, saying Umno had to move with the times.
Khairy said Umno should not end up being a party of elderly men and said he wanted to see more young people involved in politics as well as greater diversity in political leadership positions.
Shahrizat later hailed Khairy’s support in a tweet, saying: “Thanks YB KJ for your support for a woman VP in Umno. Yes, that’s the way forward and you read the trend well. Breaking barriers!”
So far, the proposal has the endorsement of 47 Wanita Umno divisions, excluding Cheras.
There are three elected VP posts in Umno, which are traditionally held by men. The present VPs are Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.