57 YEARS OF FIGHTING FOR THE COUNTRY
Mohamad, who entered politics at 19, places the party above personal interest
AHMAD FAIRUZ OTHMAN ISKANDAR PUTERI firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.