‘WE ROSE ABOVE PERSONAL INTEREST’
Umno stays strong because leaders, members prioritise organisation over any individual, says Zahid
UMNO had risen again after the crises it faced in 1988 and 1998 because its leaders and members prioritised the organisation over any individual.
Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the party was revived and its members and leaders reconciled because they put the party above personal interest.
“In 1988, I had a stake in it all as well. But, how was Umno revived? It was not done by placing a person above everyone else.
“This is where it was important to place the organisation above everything else.
“Umno members at that time prioritised the organisation and not the individual. They adhered to this when the party revived itself after suffering the split within its ranks.
“We are here today not because of our overzealousness for any particular leader, but it is due to our overzealousness for our party,” he said when opening the Pagoh Umno division delegates’ meeting at Kompleks Seri Pekembar here yesterday.
Present were Johor Umno Liaison Committee chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Pagoh Umno acting division chief Ismail Mohamed.
Zahid said many leaders, such as Datuk Seri Najib Razak and others from the Youth and Wanita wings, worked hard to rebuild the party after Umno split and was deregistered in the events that led to the 1988 constitutional crisis.
He said the party continued to be strong even when another crisis hit a decade later with the sacking of then deputy president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Zahid, who is also deputy prime minister, said upholding the party’s struggles over personal interests had benefited Umno’s rank and file, and reconciliation was apparent in the Pagoh Umno division, which was helmed by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who was former deputy prime minister and Umno deputy president.
“The mature politics practised by Pagoh Umno should be emulated by members and leaders nationwide.”
Zahid said the division under Ismail was exemplary as it had moved forward despite the departure of Muhyiddin.
Khaled said Pagoh Umno had emerged stronger after the challenge it faced when Muhyiddin was sacked for going against the party’s leadership.
“The storm of challenges it faced in the past is gone. Pagoh has returned to how it used to be as it stands united and strong.
“Members here are united in the party’s struggles. They have returned to being loyal and sincere to move together with Umno to serve the people.”
Khaled said it was important for Barisan Nasional to win a twothirds majority in the 14th General Election to continue its development agenda for the people.
“We have many big plans that need to be fulfilled. There must be a two-thirds majority for BN in Johor and the Federal Government must also be formed with a similar majority.
“Without it, we will not be a strong and effective government.”
Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi handing appreciation gifts to a party veteran at the opening of the Pagoh Umno division delegates’ meeting in Muar yesterday. With him is Johor Umno Liaison Committee chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin (right).