Umno members who wish to contest any post in the Party are advised to consider the post as a big responsibility instead of as a privilege for themselves. Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun said there are some members who consider their involvement in the Party as a means to gain privilege from the posts that they want to contest rather than contribute positively to the Party as well as the people. “In the process of choosing the Party leaders, members should not be greedy by just considering the privilege that the posts can offer, but should instead think about the service quality that will be provided,” he said during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri Celebration of Sabah Education Department at Dewan Perkumpulan Perempuan Sabah in Sembulan here yesterday. According to Masidi, there are a few members who are willing to disregard the Party rules to obtain posts for their own previlege.
“The leaders should know the difference between a privilege and a big responsibility in a post that they contest, and if they see the post as a big responsibility, their courage to contest the post would be a positive thing for the Party,” he said. Masidi was commenting on cases where certain Umno members disregarded Party rules, resulting in meeting problems at some divisions.
He said however that the matter should also be viewed positively in that it reflected the enthusiasm of the members towards the Party. “Even if there are problems caused, we should not see the matter only from the negative perspective; we should see it as democracy at workand people just want to make sure that everybody has a fair chance of being elected for the post that they wish to contest,’ he said. “If they are not concerned about Umno, I’m sure they won’t bother whether there are people who win the post uncontested... but the fact that there are so many people concerned about how the Party is run, there’s a new realization that the Party is in real need to rebuild its strength,” he said. Meanwhile, Masidi said Umno constitution does not prohibit Government officers, especially teachers to contest for any post in the Party. However, it depends on the approval of the heads of their departments, he added. “It is up to the heads of departments whether to allow the Government officers or teachers to contest for any post in the Party,” he said, when asked whether Government officers especially teachers could be actively involved in politics.
Masidi, who is also the Minister in charge of Sabah education, said if the teachers genuinely believe they can contribute, they should not forget about their responsibility to do their work and ensure their involvement will not cause any problems He said there are complaints about teachers neglecting their work when they are involved in the Party, which would be a big loss to the country. “They should understand that if they wish to join Umno, it is not only to serve the Party but also to serve the nation... They should decide whether they want to be involved full time in politics or to serve the people (become a teacher),” he said.