‘DON’T GAM­BLE WITH COUN­TRY’S FU­TURE’

Don’t let per­sonal sen­ti­ments cloud your judg­ment, Umno Info chief tells peo­ple

New Straits Times - - News - ADIE SURI ZULKEFLI JERLUN news@nst.com.my

UMNO In­for­ma­tion chief Tan Sri An­nuar Musa has urged Malaysians not to gam­ble with the coun­try’s fu­ture out of sym­pa­thy for a cer­tain po­lit­i­cal per­son­al­ity.

“The im­por­tant is­sue is the na­tion’s fu­ture. This leader must re­alise that he can­not gam­ble with it merely be­cause of his per­sonal in­ter­ests,” he said at a talk on cur­rent is­sues in Padang Sera here on Fri­day.

An­nuar said the ac­tion of for­mer prime min­is­ter Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad in try­ing to dis­rupt na­tional har­mony was dif­fi­cult for peo­ple to ac­cept.

“We can­not gam­ble with the coun­try’s fu­ture just be­cause of our per­sonal sen­ti­ments to­wards cer­tain lead­ers. The peo­ple, in­clud­ing my­self, were un­di­vided in our sup­port for Dr Ma­hathir when he was the prime min­is­ter, but enough, give space to (Prime Min­is­ter) Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak to ad­min­is­ter the coun­try and pre­serve the har­mony through Umno.”

He said Umno had been through tri­als and tribu­la­tions, but it was firm and con­tin­ued to pro­tect race, re­li­gion and coun­try. He hoped Dr Ma­hathir would come to his senses and re­turn to the fold.

“I know deep in his heart he still loves Umno. Let’s pray he re­turns to Umno.”

In ad­dress­ing a crowd of Umno mem­bers here on Fri­day evening, An­nuar said the Malays should de­cide wisely to re­tain power through Umno, the pil­lar of the Barisan Na­sional-led gov­ern­ment, or risk los­ing power to the DAP-led op­po­si­tion pact.

“Since in­de­pen­dence, the Malays, as the ma­jor­ity com­mu­nity in the coun­try, have been rul­ing the gov­ern­ment through Umno. Through our part­ner­ship with other races in BN, we have built a track record in de­vel­op­ing the coun­try and de­fend­ing the in­ter­ests of the Malays and Is­lam, while, at the same time, look­ing af­ter other eth­nic mi­nori­ties. “This is in line with fardu ki­fayah as per Is­lamic teach­ings, which urges Mus­lims to gov­ern a coun­try, in which they form the ma­jor­ity, while ac­knowl­edg­ing the rights of non-Mus­lims.”

How­ever, An­nuar stressed that the Malays risked los­ing power if they were car­ried away with sen­ti­men­tal fond­ness for cer­tain per­son­al­ity who had since formed a pact with DAP.

He said DAP was only rid­ing on Malay-based par­ties such as Parti Pribumi Ber­satu Malaysia (PPBM) and Parti Amanah Ne­gara (PAN) to con­sol­i­date its power.

“The 14th Gen­eral Elec­tion will be a bat­tle be­tween pro-rakyat BN and pro-DAP Pakatan be­cause the other par­ties in Pakatan will be de­pend­ing on DAP’s pop­u­lar­ity to win votes.

“DAP is us­ing these par­ties to con­sol­i­date its power from its cur­rent 39 par­lia­men­tary seats to be­tween 50 and 60 seats.

“With the big­gest num­ber of seats, DAP will be call­ing the shots should Pakatan win the next gen­eral elec­tion. Even if it ap­points a Malay as the prime min­is­ter, the Malays will still lose their po­lit­i­cal power.”

On an­other mat­ter, An­nuar said the gov­ern­ment would de­fend its de­ci­sion to im­ple­ment sub­sidy ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion and the re­struc­tur­ing of the con­sump­tion tax as the move would bring longterm ben­e­fits to the coun­try.

He said as a re­spon­si­ble gov­ern­ment, BN de­cided to face the risk of be­ing un­pop­u­lar in the short term so that the coun­try would ben­e­fit in the fu­ture.

An­nuar stressed the gov­ern­ment could have averted com­pro­mis­ing on its pop­u­lar­ity by not rolling out the two bold ini­tia­tives but that would ex­pose the coun­try’s econ­omy to an im­mi­nent crisis in the long run.

PIC BY AMRAN HAMID

Umno In­for­ma­tion chief Tan Sri An­nuar Musa (sec­ond from left) and Deputy Fi­nance Min­is­ter Datuk Oth­man Aziz (left), who is also Jerlun mem­ber of par­lia­ment, dis­tribut­ing pack­ages of rice to vet­eran Umno mem­bers in Ko­di­ang yesterday.

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