TO THE PEOPLE
from being swallowed up by the Asian economic crisis.
For all decisions that Umno had taken, they were done with the interests and welfare of the people in mind. If the Malays were indeed racist, would Melaka be a prosperous trading port in the 15th Century?
How can the opposition recklessly label Umno as racist?
Before it does that, perhaps members of the opposition too, should reflect on the composition of their own party.
Are they as open and transparent as they claim to be?
If Malays were racist, then how is it we are able to accept and respect other groups of different ethnic background?
Retrospectively, Umno needs to emulate the strategic thinking of the glorious era of the Melaka Sultanate. Melaka existed independently and thrived in the middle of two big powers, namely China and Siam.
Coming back to the subject at hand, that is to always obtain mass support, Umno must be seen, perceived and believed to be a powerful party that can serve the rakyat.
Umno cannot be seen as a party that fights passionately only for a small group. Instead, it must be seen and accepted fully as an inclusive party that puts people first. More importantly, Umno is a party that believes in the concept of wasatiyyah, or moderation, or in political language, a “centrist party”.
We cannot be a party that is ultra left or ultra right.
For more than seven decades, Umno has gained a trove of experience. It is a party that is rich in heritage. It has its ups and downs, and had gone through trials and tribulations.
We are a party that walks the talk, and our promises to the people have always been fulfilled. The power of Umno is highly dependent on its ability to understand the needs of its members.
As the ruling party, Umno’s relevance depends on the extent to which it manages to capture the imagination of not only the Malays, but also more importantly, all Malaysians.
Umno members, all of us leaders and members alike, should regularly reflect on our struggles. We must be willing to look inward to see our weaknesses and shortcomings, and rectify them. This is extremely important, especially for the leaders who must uphold their integrity so the rakyat will continue to believe in us.
Umno leaders uphold integrity, and they must execute their duties to the fullest.
Not only must the party adapt and transform for the betterment of future generations, the most important thing is that the Malays themselves must change their mindset.
Today, we are seeing the results of the New Economic Policy.
After all the progress that the country has achieved, some people believe that it is no longer relevant in society.
They say the Bumiputras can stand on their own feet without having to rely on government assistance. Apparently, these people forget one fact.
If indeed enough has been done to remove the crutches that support the Bumiputras over the years, what about the current Bumiputras who still need help?
Is it fair to deny them the same opportunity because those who have already benefited from the policy think it is redundant?
Many of the present generation take Umno sacrifices lightly. They should take a leaf from the book of our predecessors.
Their determination and commitment is what made Umno today.
To be a successful party, we cannot ignore the thinking and aspirations of the people. The people now want the party and government to understand their needs, and they want to be directly engaged.
For that, we must engage and interact with them. We must be recognised as a party that not only brings about changes, but can also change from within.
Umno has acted boldly to amend the Constitution to make it transparent, inclusive and democratic. This shows that it is willing to change from within.
It will continue to champion the welfare and livelihood of all citizens. Umno must be known for its service to the people.
And, finally, as stressed by Najib, Umno is the party of the masses and upholds the aspirations of the people.
History has shown that when Umno was close to the people, it felt their pulse. And, that is why the party spearheaded the establishment of agencies, such as Felda, Mara, and the Farmers’ Organisation Authority, to improve the lives of the people.
All the points in Najib’s inaugural speech are still fresh in my mind. I’m sure other party members remember it, too.
The development of the last eight years proves Umno is still relevant. As emphasised by Najib, to survive, Umno has no choice but to embrace reality by being humble and keeping an open mind.
As party president and the sixth prime minister, Najib has delivered almost all the 25 points outlined in his speech eight years ago. He needs continuous support to shape the country’s development agenda, and the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) plan will be the heart of it.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak has delivered almost all the 25 points outlined in his speech when he assumed the party’s leadership eight years ago.