TONTON ASTRO AWANI

PENGUNJUNG SETIA

29 Mac 2008

BOOST GRASSROOTS MORALE, UMNO LEADERS URGED

By HAMDAN RAJA ABDULLAH

TANGKAK: Umno leaders at all levels will be asked to meet with party members at the grassroots from now on to boost morale.

Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said members' morale in certain areas in the state was low after the Barisan Nasional lost four states to Opposition parties in the general election.

He said that although the state Umno and Barisan were not badly affected, party leaders as well as all state representatives in Johor should start listening to grassroots’ sentiments.

“We need to meet with the grassroots more often and listen to their views or problems if any. I, too, will meet up with those at the grassroots in the state soon,” he said when met on Thursday.

Abdul Ghani, who had just returned from attending an Umno supreme council meeting in Kuala Lumpur, said the state party needed to move forward towards strengthening unity among members.

Abdul Ghani, who is also Ledang Umno division chairman, said all party leaders should make efforts to be closer to younger voters and outline programmes to attract their interests.

Meanwhile, Ledang MP Hamim Samuri said he had started to go down to the grassroots as he felt it was important for him and the party to know their needs.

He said he visited Bukit Kangkar residents on Thursday and noted that they were happy to receive him.

He said that before he visited the small town he was informed of an elderly woman who had diabetes and renal problems, suffered a stroke and could not walk. He decided to donate a wheelchair to the woman.

He said Foo Jong Hwa, 64, who needed dialysis thrice a week, also required financial support.

“She has to go to the Muar Lions Club dialysis centre in town and I will ask local Barisan leaders to organise charity events to raise funds for her and others here who are in need,” he added.

SOURCE: THE STAR, Saturday March 29, 2008

16 Mac 2008

ASOJAN'S APPOINTMENT RAISES EYEBROWS IN MIC

JOHOR BARU: The appointment of Gambir assemblyman M. Asojan as an exco member has raised eyebrows in the federal and state MIC leadership.

Political sources said many quarters had been lobbying for the position to be given to Johor MIC secretary M.M. Samy, 59, who is the most senior party leader in the state.

The line up: The members of the Johor exco (from left) Asojan, Jais, Ahmad Zahri, Asiah, Dr Robia, Abdul Ghani, Zainal Abidin, Maulizan, Abd Aziz, Tan and Hoo posing for photograph at the Mentri Besar's official residence in Saujana, Johor Baru Saturday.
Asojan was sworn in as Unity, Human Resources, Science, Technology and Innovation Committee chairman yesterday.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said Asojan, 42, was appointed based on the decision and consent of both the Prime Minister and the Sultan of Johor.

“I have sorted out the matter with MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu,” he said.

Asked whether the decision was based on the fact that Asojan was younger and the only two-term assemblyman among the four MIC candidates, Abdul Ghani said a lot of factors were taken into account.

In the previous state government, the party's only exco position was held by state MIC chief Datuk K.S. Balakrishnan.

He, however, did not seek re-election.

Asojan stressed that he did not lobby for the position.

“I thank the party and state leadership for having the confidence in me to take on the post,” the state MIC Youth chief said, adding that he would use his manpower portfolio to lure more non-Malays, especially Indians, into government service.






SOURCE: THE STAR, Sunday March 16, 2008