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Thursday, November 29, 2012

A 'new' Malaysia, a 'changed' Umno - Muhyiddin promises

A 'new' Malaysia, a 'changed' Umno - Muhyiddin promises
KUALA LUMPUR - Faced with a changing voter landscape, Umno has learnt from the sting of their defeat at the 2008 general elections and has transformed as a whole, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.
Muhyiddin, who is also Umno deputy president, said that speeches made by delegates on Wednesday showed that they truly understand the threat of the opposition.
"They know the pain and bitterness if they face defeat as before, they know this – but we want them to know this because the situation today has changed," he told a press conference after the opening speech by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.
The March 2008 general election had seen the Barisan Nasional suffer its worst defeat in more than four decades, losing their customary two-thirds majority and losing five states to opposition rule.
Muhyiddin said based on on-ground observation, it is clear that the party has recovered from their defeat, and it is evident that there is change within the party.
"I only hope that it can be translated into votes for the general election, as the Prime Minister has reminded us that there are more than two million first time voters, thus reminding the party that the voter profile is not the same as 20 years ago and the party must change in parallel to this fact," he said.
"The Malaysian mind is not the same as 20 years ago, they are savvy with technology and it is a new Malaysia that we face. Youth expectations are different from 10, 20 years ago… this is the thinking that must be instilled in the party," he said, adding that most party members are aware and alert, but to instill this in all members will take time.
Muhyiddin however dodged questions on whether he agreed with Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil that Malays will lose political power if Umno is weak.
He said that since Malays make up more than 60% of the population, it is fair that their interests are represented accordingly.
"Malays represent more than 60% of the country. That is the reality. Imagine what will happen if they do not get the appropriate representation in politics," he said.
He questioned the outcome if the opposition, who he described as chaotic, were to gain power.
"Imagine if this situation (where Malays have political power) is not maintained and left to those who are chaotic, would Malaysia be as stable as she is now?" he challenged.

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