57 YEARS OF FIGHT­ING FOR THE COUN­TRY

Mo­hamad, who en­tered pol­i­tics at 19, places the party above per­sonal in­ter­est

New Straits Times - - News -

AHMAD FAIRUZ OTH­MAN ISKANDAR PUTERI news@nst.com.my

UMNO deputy per­ma­nent chair­man Tan Sri Mo­hamad Aziz has lived by the party’s strug­gles for the race, re­li­gion and coun­try since be­com­ing a mem­ber 57 years ago.

Hav­ing en­tered pol­i­tics at age 19 be­cause of the in­flu­ence of his fam­ily who were all Umno mem­bers, he al­ways placed the party above per­sonal in­ter­est.

“I joined Umno in 1960 and held the post of com­mit­tee mem­ber in Batu Pa­hat Dalam (now Sri Gad­ing) Umno Youth divi­sion be­fore hold­ing other posts in the main divi­sion.

“At the time, Umno was equated with Malays, and Malays were equated with Umno.

“My par­ents were reg­u­lar Umno mem­bers. All Malays were Umno mem­bers back then.

“My mother and fa­ther were drawn to the work of Datuk Onn Jaa­far (Umno’s first pres­i­dent), who was then Batu Pa­hat district of­fi­cer. They were friends with him,” said Mo­hamad, 76.

He even­tu­ally be­came a per­sonal as­sis­tant to Onn’s son and Malaysia’s third prime min­is­ter, Tun Hus­sein Onn.

Hus­sein was a mem­ber of par­lia­ment for Sri Gad­ing, a con­stituency that Mo­hamad was later elected as MP from 1999 to 2013.

Mo­hamad said the younger gen­er­a­tion should know that Umno was born dur­ing a gath­er­ing of Malay or­gan­i­sa­tions at Is­tana Be­sar, Jo­hor Baru, on May 11, 1946, and that its for­ma­tion was with the con­sent of then Sul­tan of Jo­hor Sul­tan Ibrahim Sul­tan Abu Bakar.

Mo­hamad, who is also Jo­hor state as­sem­bly speaker, said Umno con­tin­ued to be rel­e­vant due to its mem­bers and lead­ers who stood by its orig­i­nal goals.

“Peo­ple back then joined the party to serve the peo­ple, re­li­gion and coun­try. It was not about want­ing to be­come elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Some turned down of­fers to be­come wakil rakyat.

“Even with a salary of RM350 back then, they de­clined it as that was not their pur­pose in Umno. Their goals were pure.

“This at­ti­tude that be­gan with Umno’s found­ing fa­thers must be prac­tised by ev­ery­one in the party. Only then will Umno be around for another 71 years.”

He said Umno was still rel­e­vant to­day, and its longevity de­pended on its lead­ers up­hold­ing the party’s strug­gles.

“We can­not have other ob­jec­tives when we join Umno. Our first ob­jec­tive must be to fight for Hashim, who flagged off par­tic­i­pants at the Pagoh Sports Com­plex, said the run’s ob­jec­tive was to share the Team Jo­hor motto.

“The run will en­cour­age sol­i­dar­ity among youth in the party.”

The fi­nal check­point for the Jo­hor leg of the run was the Sun­gai the peo­ple, re­li­gion and coun­try. Fight­ing the op­po­si­tion is sec­ondary.”

Mo­hamad said he learned a lot from past Umno lead­ers, es­pe­cially its sec­ond and third pres­i­dents, Tunku Ab­dul Rah­man Pu­tra Al-Haj and Tun Ab­dul Razak Hus­sein, who were pas­sion­ate about up­lift­ing the poor.

“With­out Umno’s lead­er­ship, we would not have built sec­ondary schools in ru­ral ar­eas when most English sec­ondary schools were only in towns.

“With­out Umno, we will not have in­fra­struc­ture in vil­lages. We will not have mid­wives and ru­ral clin­ics that im­proved health­care ser­vices and re­duced the num­ber of in­fant mor­tal­i­ties.

“I once spoke to a Pas mem­ber who is an aca­demic and from a ru­ral area. I told him ‘you may not have lived be­yond in­fancy if it was not for the clin­ics built be­cause of the Umno lead­er­ship’.”

On the 14th Gen­eral Elec­tion, Mo­hamad said Umno mem­bers should en­sure the vic­tory of the party’s and Barisan Na­sional’s can­di­dates.

“It’s stated in the party con­sti­tu­tion that we must en­sure our party wins. Per­sonal mat­ters must be brushed aside. We must not sab­o­tage our party.” Ram­bai bridge in Ke­sang, Muar, which is at the bor­der of Malacca and Jo­hor.

Jo­hor Umno li­ai­son com­mit­tee chair­man Datuk Seri Mo­hamed Khaled Nordin, who was at the check­point in Ke­sang, handed over a flag to Malacca Umno li­ai­son com­mit­tee chair­man Datuk Seri Idris Haron.

Pre­sent were Jo­hor Umno information chief Datuk Sam­sol Bari Ja­mali, Ledang Umno divi­sion chief Datuk Hamim Sa­muri and Malacca Umno Youth chief Senator Datuk Zali Md Yasin.

PIC BY RASUL AZLI SA­MAD

Malacca Chief Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Idris Haron (third from left) re­ceiv­ing the Umno flag from Jo­hor Menteri Be­sar Datuk Seri Mo­hamed Khaled Nordin (third from right) dur­ing the start of the Malacca leg of the Umno flag run in Jasin yes­ter­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.