[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Malaysia party agrees vote reforms
PM tells party it needs to "open up" or risk losing its grip on power.
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2009 09:42 GMT
Najib, Malaysia's prime minister, said Umno needed to open up or risk losing the next election [EPA]

Malaysia's ruling party has agreed a series of internal voting reforms in a bid to counter charges of widespread corruption and revive public support.

The move comes after the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) suffered major losses in last year's national and state elections.

Prime Minister Najib Razak had personally pushed through the reforms, warning his party that without changes to make it more transparent and democratic it could be defeated in the next elections.

"Umno needs to open up and improve," he told delegates at the party's annual meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

"The people have sent a clear message to us. We are aware and we repent."

The reforms will vastly increase the number of Umno members who will be able to vote in party elections, and allow more party members to contest top jobs.

The changes will slash the influence of traditional party warlords who have benefited from Umno's previous culture of patronage, analysts say.

"This move is historic because no other leader, especially one in power, has been willing to change the system that placed them in power in the first place," Hishamuddin Hussein, Umno's vice-president and Najib's cousin, told party members.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
join our mailing list