#Update* Chief: Puteri not mere cheerleaders, but beacon of hope for party

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Last Updated: 2:48pm, Dec 04, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 4): After 53 days fresh of receiving the mandate to head Puteri Umno, Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said she is adamant to change the perception that the wing is only considered as "cheerleaders". In her maiden speech in the Umno General Assembly today, the Puteri chief expressed hopes of seeing the wing as being the beacon of hope for the party where its presence will be appreciated as more than just to bring cheer to an event. "We are considered as "penyeri majlis" (a sight for sore eyes), cheerleaders and other negative perceptions. (But) these perceptions need to be taken positively and effort must be made to rectify it," said Mas. Mas urged the party leadership to recognise the wing's effort and at the same time she rallied her troops to bring forth more energy into their movement. "We want the leaders in every level to really give space and recognition in the Puteri's movement based on our commitment and hard work all these while. "Therefore, Puteri in all levels, division, state, central, need to show their full determination, hard work and commitment so that the leadership give the recognition deserved and give more space and opportunity for Puteri," she said. For this to be achieved, she told the delegates that more continuous training is needed together with a fresh module or syllabus especially for newly recruit Puteri's to ensure that members understand and appreciate the history of Umno while be relevant to the current political scenario. The wing also believed improvement must be made to the party's regulation particularly in terms of membership where they are hoping to re-look the matter of having to be a member for three years before being eligible to run for any positions either in division or central level. She said it was an unreasonable and not a member-friendly regulation as it restricts young women from being together with the leadership whether its the division or even the national level. "We want to be seen as more open and inclusive to youth that are 18 and above," said Mas. Mas’ speech touched on topics such as economy, religion and preparations for the 14th General Election (GE14). Being realistic about the last election, she told delegates that the win for Barisan Nasional (BN) recently came with a price as the coalition is now often questioned and if the situation continues to escalate as so, she believed it will be detrimental to the party. She spoke of declining numbers of the urban voters for BN thanks to a wide array of information that can cross borders and even acknowledge the dwindling support of the Chinese voters. "The dwindling support of the Chinese is among one of the factor for the weak support for Barisan Nasional. "This is proven when we see the lack of votes to BN in areas that are inhabited by the Chinese," she said. In an effort to rectify that, Puteri Umno is hoping to set-up a Biro Sahabat Puteri to reel in support from the youth no matter what race, background from the NGOs and even students as a measure to increase BN performance in GE14. "A holistic preparation must be done before we face another wave of more violent challenges," said Mas.

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