PETALING JAYA – It’s going to be extra crowded at this year’s Umno general assembly which starts today.
Apart from delegates and party supporters, attendance at this year’s do will be boosted by Umno grassroots leaders as well as NGOs that support the party.
Party secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said apart from 5,739 delegates, Umno has also invited branch officials to attend the assembly this year.
“We have 21,851 branches nationwide, and have invited each branch to send the branch chief as well as the chiefs of their three wings to come to the assembly.
The assembly will be held at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur.
It is understood that many Malay and Muslim interest NGOs will also be at PWTC in a show of support for the party ahead of GE14.
Other than general election preparations, Tengku Adnan said this year’s assembly aims to showcase the party’s and Government’s achievements over the years.
“To allow people to understand Umno’s struggle, many exhibitions will be put up at PWTC so that they can see what we have managed to achieve since Umno was set up, and on our achievements as a country as well,” he added.
A free shuttle service will be made available to ferry delegates and visitors from PWTC to the Expo Negaraku 2017 exhibition being held at Dataran Merdeka.
“At the Expo Negaraku we can also see many exhibits on how our country was developed, and what we aim to achieve in 2050.
“We ask all of Umno’s 3.64 million members to come if they are free, and we would also like to invite others to visit our assembly,” said Tengku Adnan.
An Umno official said this was the first time Umno had formally invited all its branch leaders to come to the assembly.
“The aim is also to increase inclusivity because in the past it was mostly only the delegates who were at the assembly. It is also to raise the morale of members ahead of the general election,” said the official.
Ibdil Illah Ishak, the chief coordinator for Umno Overseas Club members, said 82 students in overseas universities will attend this year’s assembly.
He said many are excited to attend this last assembly before GE14, adding that he had to decline many applications from members to attend as the event could only accommodate a limited number.
“They all want to help the existing Government remain in power because they don’t feel the Opposition can do better. And it’s a pleasant surprise to find so many from our millennial generation so eager to contribute to Umno,” said Ibdil.