Prioritising the needs of the nation
Had Onn followed his anger and emotions, what would have happened to his legacy? Today, his grandson can see some of his visions realised and we will defend them. This is our strength and this is what we want to tell our members. But what saddens me is that some of our own members still point fingers among ourselves.
Q: DAP has been trying hard to attract youth, especially the Malays. What is Umno doing to ensure it remains attractive to the younger generation?
A: We have to work hard. We have to understand that the political landscape has changed.
We need to reach out to not only youths, but also non-governmental organisations and all strata of society.
If the opposition throws allegations at us, we must be there to respond. Otherwise, the people will only hear one side of the story and this may make them reject us.
We must prove to the people that we have proper plans in place to transform the country. The National Transformation 2050 is a good example. Which opposition party has come up with such a plan? But, I always remind Umno members that a weak opposition does not make Umno strong.
Q: There is some confusion over Umno’s relationship with Pas and whether it is political in nature. Can you set the record straight?
A: In politics, there must be limits and boundaries. If we are in politics for the sake of winning seats or ousting the government, what happens to Islam? So, if Umno works with Pas to further the agenda of the ummah and improve the country’s image, who can blame us?
Maybe there are people who are uncomfortable with this relationship, but the people will realise that if we remain sincere in furthering the Islamic agenda and strengthening Islam’s position on the world stage, there is no reason why we can’t work together.
Q: What do you have to say to people who claim that your appointment as special functions minister is meant to prepare you to take over the premiership in the future?
A: People who know me will understand that positions were never my concern. I have never made positions my priority. I take things one step at a time. What is important to me is job satisfaction. When the time comes and when I’ve outlived my service, I will gladly go. In fact, I never expected to be where I am today.
The biggest satisfaction for me is to be able to the celebrate Umno’s 71st anniversary as the party’s vice-president and I will work even harder to help develop the country.