‘WE ROSE ABOVE PER­SONAL IN­TER­EST’

Umno stays strong be­cause lead­ers, mem­bers pri­ori­tise or­gan­i­sa­tion over any in­di­vid­ual, says Zahid

New Straits Times - - News - AH­MAD FAIRUZ OTHMAN MUAR news@nst.com.my

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.”

PIC BY HAIRUL ANUAR RAHIM

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).

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