KUALA LUMPUR: It is not blind loyalty when allegiance is given to a leader who places the public’s interests above his own, Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin said today.
He said while Islam taught its adherents to be loyal to their leaders, there was a caveat: it required the leader to be one who worked within a certain boundary.
Umno president Najib Razak certainly fits the bill, Khairy said.
“This is why the 600,000 members of the youth wing have pledged their loyalty to the president,” said Khairy during his closing speech at the 70th Umno general assembly.
He gave examples to prove Najib was a good leader who practised the “bottom to top” form of leadership.
“I have led the youth wing for eight years. During my first year I voiced the youth’s wish to have the minimum wage increased, and the president as the prime minister, made this happen.
“Last year, we spoke about the rise in the cost of living. We asked for the government to avoid any more hike in toll prices and to provide the youth with assistance for public transportation.
“Once again, the president listened to our demands. Everything the grassroots asked, the president has fulfilled. That is why it is wajib (a must) that we support him.”
Khairy also referred to Najib’s speech on Thursday, where the latter asked him to be a warrior, playing the role of Tariq Ziyad for the party.
Tariq was a Muslim commander who successfully led an army across the Straits of Gibraltar to conquer Visigothic Hispania from 711 to 718 A.D.
“So Datuk Seri president, if you ask me to be like Tariq Ziyad, with the youth wing, 600,000 Tariqs will be behind you!
“We win (the next general election) or we die! No retreat, no surrender!
“Even if we have to walk through thorny paths, or stand on fiery rocks, so long as the blood runs through our veins, and as long as we are still breathing, the youth wing will continue marching forward,” he shouted through the cheering crowd.
The praise that has been heaped on Najib, including by Khairy in his opening speech, at the Umno assembly had been criticised by some outside the party as showing blind loyalty to their leader. -FMT