TAWAU: Leaders of Tawau Division UMNO Branches are urged to play their roles in deflecting any criticisms and negative perceptions by certain parties that are against UMNO President, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak.
Tawau Division UMNO Chief, Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan, said branch leaders need to equip themselves with solid information on various issues to defend the party leadership from politically-motivated attacks by certain parties.
“There are many criticism thrown at the party president including personal attacks and GST issues. UMNO branch chiefs need to play their roles in tackling these matters,” he said in his speech for officiating UMNO Branch Meeting, here yesterday.
“There should be no branch leaders who join in the attack against the President and our party leadership, because if we also ‘bash’ the president and our party, then how can we win (election)?” he added.
Tawfiq who is also Sabah Minister of Youth and Sports, said branch leaders also need to identify unregistered voters from the more than 4,000 UMNO members in the district.
In 2013, UMNO in Tawau had 175 branches with 23,544 memberships, while in 2014 the number had increased to 178 branches with 24,424 memberships.
“What is the use of having many divisional branches when we do not champion the party, and the reason in increasing our membership should not be to target the quota to become a division. The purpose of having large membership is to register them as voters so that we can win.
According to him, from the total number of UMNO members in the division, only 16,054 members are eligible to vote, while another 5,806 members are unqualified due to document problem. About 1,450 of its members are still under-aged. – SayangSabah