That’s be­cause I’ve done away with Dr M’s bonus and quota vot­ing sys­tems, says pres­i­dent

New Straits Times - - Front Page - ZAIDI ISHAM IS­MAIL AND KELLY KOH ME­LAKA

PRIME Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak chided for­mer prime min­is­ter Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad for la­belling Umno as a party owned by the for­mer.

Dis­miss­ing the al­le­ga­tion, the Barisan Na­sional (BN) chair­man and Umno pres­i­dent said the rea­son he was able to stay long in pol­i­tics was be­cause he es­tab­lished a good for­mal and in­for­mal re­la­tion­ship with his mem­bers.

“Tun M said he does not sup­port Umno be­cause Umno is owned by Na­jib. Since when Umno be­longs to Na­jib ?

“Umno is more open to­day than any other time, and I am a leader of the party be­cause of the sup­port of the mem­bers,” he said at the open­ing of the Masjid Tanah Umno di­vi­sion del­e­gates’ meet­ing at SM Im­tiaz Ulul Al­bab here.

He told the di­vi­sion party del­e­gates that it was Dr Ma­hathir who in­sti­tuted the bonus vot­ing sys­tem and the quota sys­tem in the party polls to main­tain his grip on power.

Na­jib said he had risked his po­si­tion and done away with Ma­hathir’s sys­tem by in­tro­duc­ing a more open party poll sys­tem where the lead­er­ship was elected by 165,000 mem­bers, in­stead of 3,200 di­vi­sion lead­ers.

“I al­low my fate to be de­ter­mined by 165,000 Umno mem­bers na­tion­wide.

“Be­cause there is no way you can buy the votes of 165,000 lead­ers. They voted based on their whims and fancy, but I man­age to win un­con­tested. Dur­ing the time of Dr Ma­hathir, there was the In­ter­nal Se­cu­rity Act (ISA).

“Tell me who is the dic­ta­tor here?” Na­jib asked.

He said his recog­ni­tion by the party mem­bers as their pres­i­dent was de­rived from a political the­ory that stressed for­mal power (formed by the party struc­ture) and in­for­mal pow­ers (formed from in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ship with oth­ers).

“Those who last long are those with in­for­mal pow­ers. Which is why since 1976, I have built both for­mal and in­for­mal re­la­tion­ships,” he added.

Na­jib said dur­ing his ten­ure as the Umno deputy Youth chief, he prac­tised the prin­ci­ples of wala (loy­alty) and voted for Dr Ma­hathir, al­low­ing him to beat Tengku Raza­leigh Hamzah by 43 votes in the 1987 Umno pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Present were Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi, Me­laka Chief Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Idris Haron, Umno ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yu­soh and Pu­teri Umno chief Datuk Mas Er­miey­ati Sam­sudin.

Na­jib said a political party set up just to em­bark on a per­sonal vendetta would not last long and could not chal­lenge Umno, which had been at the fore­front in cham­pi­oning the wel­fare and bet­ter­ment of the peo­ple.

He said a cer­tain party which sported a “flower” as its em­blem did not have a clear di­rec­tion like Umno and was only based on per­sonal vested in­ter­ests.

“A political party must have fight­ing spirit com­pared with this flower party which for the past two or three days did not have any di­rec­tion.

“What is their di­rec­tion? If it is set up just to em­bark on a per­sonal vendetta and other vested in­ter­ests, be­lieve me this flower party will not last long,” Na­jib said.

He did not men­tion the party by name but it is be­lieved Na­jib was re­fer­ring to Parti Pribumi Ber­satu Malaysia.

He also con­demned a past leader who ben­e­fited from be­com­ing a prime min­is­ter but was on a course to de­stroy the party.

“This is not ra­tio­nal and we can­not sup­port such lead­ers be­cause we know that only a political in­sti­tu­tion like Umno can bring hope to the peo­ple.

He added that the for­mer prime min­is­ter had also gone too far to be in ca­hoots with the op­po­si­tion.

“Dr Ma­hathir once crit­i­cised (Datuk Seri) An­war Ibrahim us­ing words which I will never use.

“And now, Dr Ma­hathir has looked for the very same per­son he once lam­basted.

“If I were Wan Az­izah, I can­not look at his face for what he did to my hus­band. In pol­i­tics, we must have prin­ci­ples and moral high ground,” Na­jib said.

“There are sev­eral quar­ters try­ing to pit me against my deputy, claim­ing that he was plan­ning some­thing, I would like to re­peat that my con­fi­dence in him is in­dis­putable.

“My re­la­tion­ship with Zahid was built since 1986, and it’s not just a prime min­is­ter and deputy prime min­is­ter re­la­tion­ship.

“Dr Ma­hathir will never suc­ceed in split­ting us,” he said.


Pu­teri Umno chief Datuk Mas Er­miey­ati Sam­sudin pre­sent­ing a cat as a gift to Umno pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak. With them are Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Idris Haron (left), Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yu­soh (cen­tre) and Alor Ga­jah Umno head Datuk Ab­dul Ghafaar Atan (sec­ond from right) in Masjid Tanah, Me­laka, yes­ter­day.

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