By INS Contributors

KUALA LUMPUR , Malaysia--Anyone who has witnessed a speech delivered by Zahida Zarik Khan will have to agree that this woman has potential as a leader and as someone who is unquestionably one of the “new blood and new face” that UMNO needs.

In her address during the Puteri BN convention on Sunday, Zahida outlined several key issues that few would dare to raise in UMNO, chiefly the need to drop sexist and racist candidates in the coming general election.

“The party has to be firm with those who have their views sexist and racist, who like to make fun of Women, who like to degrade women and who behave disgustingly towards women.

“When the whole nation is disgusted by the likes of them, the party can’t expect us to back them. No way, brother!” she said.

While most zoomed in on this point, what was of greater substance was Zahida’s focus on addressing issues that affect and will continue to affect women in the country as a result of the pandemic and the ensuing economic and political fall out.

“Poverty will be a challenge for all. Especially when the country and the world are hit by economic recession. With less jobs and rising cost of living all will feel. Or if there is a layoff, are women the first victims?

“Among the lower income group, the suffering of women from poor families has more impact.
Especially among single mothers, or those who are left behind. Or have a husband but
The husbands do not know their responsibility,” she said.

Zuhaida also raised the need for more women’s leaders, especially young ones who would not only be able to resonate with the generation of younger voters coming into play with UNDI 8, as they would be able to feel the pulse on the ground better.

The UNDI 18 initiative , which lowers the voting age to 18 and automatic voter registration will see an additional 5.8 million voters at any election called after January 16 this year. This new vote bank is vital for political parties vying to win the coming GE15 which is expected by the end of the year.

“Only women understand women better. That's why women's voices are important. They need support and should be given the opportunity to convey diverse views and suggestions
forums and institutions,” she said.