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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Zahid: Umno will remain relevant for all Malaysians

Umno, which is celebrating its 71st anniversary tomorrow, will remain relevant for all Malaysians because the party’s struggle is not only confined for the Malays, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Zahid, who is Umno vice-president performing the duties of the party’s deputy president, said despite being faced with various challenges, the party remained strong and continued to carry out its duties and responsibilities to fulfil the agenda as enshrined in the constitution, including for the Malay rulers and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak.
"In the past seven decades, we have been following the history of Umno’s struggle, which is full of various challenges. Even the previous Umno founder, Onn Jaafar wanted to open Umno to the non-Malays, and it ended with him forming another party, but Alhamdulillah (Praise to God), Tunku Abdul Rahman (the country’s first prime minister), succeeded in giving a new soul to Umno, although the founder was no longer with the party.
"Leaders come and go, various obstacles and challenges. In fact, challenged from within and outside, stabbed from inside and out. The stabbing has yet to subside until now, even though Umno’s deeds to that someone is huge.
“Umno remains a party which is strong and will remain relevant for all quarters,” he told Bernama in an interview in conjunction with Umno’s 71st anniversary in the BNC’s 'Ruang Bicara Khas' programme which was aired tonight.
Zahid said now at 71 years, Umno had reached the best age of maturity as an organisation.
Nevertheless, he said, Umno still needed inputs to apply its maturity in its action.
“In this matter, certainly, continuity in leadership since Umno's inception should continue to inject elements of maturity in the survival of Umno’s struggle itself.
“In fact, the party’s administration and support from the grassroots for the party’s ideas are going on well. This is the special feature of Umno where the process of continuity prevails and we feel that the people are still dependent on the party because Umno can champion not only now, but also into the future,” he added.
In line continuing maturity in the party’s struggle, Zahid said he was prepared to shoulder the challenge together with prime minister and Umno president Najib Abdul Razak.
In line with Umno’s maturity, Zahid urged Umno leaders and members to stay away from the culture of “bat politics”, which is “seasonal politics and “satay politics”.
"We don’t practise seasonal politics. This means Umno is not seasonal as bats don’t appear when it is not fruit season because we are not bats,” he said, adding that Umno always goes to the ground to serve the people.
He said “satay politics” should also be avoided because it showed a bad habit of pricking or instigating others to be at loggerheads.
“The nastiest are the people who fan the satay, including those who heat and prick the satay. In this situation, I think ‘bat politics’ and ‘satay politics’ should be avoided as Umno is getting more matured,” he said.
Zahid said Umno had also beefed up its information machinery in various mediums, especially social media with various approaches and for various categories of people.
Efforts should be intensified so that only credible information get to be disseminated to the people, especially voters in the coming general election, he added.

He reminded party machinery to plan their strategy early to ward off attacks by enemies, especially during the general election, to avoid incidents like Barisan Nasional (BN) being accused of bringing in phantom voters as had happened before.
If these attacked by the enemies cannot be tackled promptly, the accusations could influence voters and the situation can adversely affect BN’s chances of winning, he added.
Currently, the preparedness of Umno’s communication was being enhanced and he expressed confidence that all quarters in the party could work as a team to ensure a win for BN in the coming general election.
- Bernama

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