Is Puteri Umno in danger of growing old before its time?
Really sad that this question has to be asked. Puteri Umno was formed out of necessity, whose time had come when Umno needed more young women.
Yes, even then, the Umno leadership was pushing for reform, reinvention, rejuvenation and revitalisation of the party to be relevant to not just the Malays but Malaysians.
Puteri Umno's founding leader Azalina Othman Said is, well, a hard act to follow.
She had so much passion, leading the nascent movement to become quite a force.
Her successor Noraini Ahmad inherited a strong movement but failed to take it further. She so paled in comparison, which, I must admit, is really not a fair comparison.
But then, it really does not get any better. Puteri Umno, under its current leader Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, does not shine at all.
Really. Any party, movement, body or organization is a reflection of its leadership.
Right now, Puteri Umno is dull and insipid. In a pause mode.
In the initial period, the movement had to fight off allegations that it was trying to upstage the Wanita with talk that Azalina and the then Wanita chief Rafidah Aziz were not on good terms.
In fact, Puteri Umno was accused of being "biadap" or "kurang ajar", showing little respect to the more senior and experienced Wanita.
Petty, you say. But pettiness, in politics, can find its way to centre stage. It gets column inches in the newspapers and airtime on radio and TV. And in cyberspace?
Rafidah, predictably, denied any bad blood between Azalina and Wanita and convincingly expressed her support for the younger leader and Puteri. Azalina denied that Puteri was trying to upstage Wanita and firmly stated that this new kid on the block had all the respect for Wanita.
All that is history.
Besides, Puteri members have graduated to become Wanita members. And the cycle continues.
Today, it is being asked whether Puteri Umno is doing what its raison d'etre dictates.
No doubt that in its nascent years, it did a good job of attracting young women to be members and played active roles in the general elections and by-elections.
These pretty girls in pink were no pushovers.
So, today, can Puteri Umno be what Rosnah wants it to be -- to be a trendsetter not a trend follower to gain due respect for its struggle which represents the younger generation?
Well, Rosnah -- you have to show the way. You have to be a trendsetter because you are what your wing or movement is.
But you know, the issue really shouldn't even arise.
Puteri Umno should already be leading the way for young Malaysians in helping to improve society.....
Just to update: Today is the end of the three-day Umno general assembly which was held at the Putera World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur.