Rosnah Shirlin: Bridging the gap between two different worlds

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KOTA KINABALU (Sept 23): Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin aims to bridge the gap between two generations in Wanita Umno if elected an exco member in the upcoming party elections. The Papar MP is banking on her more than four years' stint as the Puteri chief to further strengthen the senior wing's effort in engaging the younger generation to prepare for the 14th general election. With youths having a crucial voice in the last general election, she expects their voices to become more crucial if not a "determining factor" in the next five years. She also hopes to help those who have graduated to Wanita Umno from the Puteri wing. "Puteri and Wanita Umno are two different worlds. They have different needs," she tells And with 40,000 Puteri members migrating to Wanita, the deputy works minister also hopes she can play a role in preventing a clash between the new Wanita members and the old guard. Though technically, sources point out, she has already taken a proactive step by declining to go for the number two post in Wanita, despite calls for her to do so. While Rosnah had written in her blog that she decided to contest for the exco post because she wanted to work her way to the top, a strategy she had also adopted in the youth wing, she admits that she needs to be accepted by the wing first. "I need some time for a smooth transition," she said. Being ambitious, Rosnah said, can sometimes lead to schisms in the party, a feature which Umno has battled hard against in the past, especially since internal fighting has led to losses in the past. Former tourism minister Datuk Azalina Othman's withdrawal from contesting the top Wanita post was said to be prompted by the realisation that a contest would only create splits among members. "If contesting for the exco post is to show my sincerity in serving the party, I will do it," Rosnah stressed.or more stories, go to, the website for freedom of expression and fairness in articulation.