Be open like the government, Zahid tells SUARAM
RAUB, Sept 22 — Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) needs to be transparent in revealing foreign funds they obtained, just like the government did regarding their allegations in the past.
On the purchase of the Scorpene submarines, which SUARAM claimed involved corruption, he said the government had revealed various documents and answered questions raised including in Parliament.
“SUARAM is seen as championing an external agenda in efforts to discredit the country and its sovereignty.
“If the funds they received were from abroad, surely they have an external agenda,” he told reporters after officiating the Raub Umno delegates meeting, here today.
“If the government is transparent in responding to SUARAM’s allegations, why can’t they do the same regarding the foreign funds?” he said.
He said it was clear that SUARAM had an external agenda in discrediting Malaysia and the sovereignty of the Malaysian Armed Forces.
Meanwhile, touching on Umno, he said Umno’s election machinery needs to give attention to the Generation Y and Generation X in the coming general election, as they will play a role in steering the direction of the country’s leadership.
Zahid, who is also Umno vice-president, said 42 per cent of voters during the next election consisted of those aged between 21 and 40.
“Voters aged 21 to 30, or the Generation Y, make up 19 per cent while voters aged 31 to 40, or the Generation X, make up 23 per cent of the voter population,” he said.
Also present were Raub Umno division chief Datuk Shahiruddin Ab Moin and Pahang Umno Youth chief Datuk Abu Jimi Samad.
He said party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in a recent Umno Supreme Council meeting, had also urged Umno machinery to focus their efforts on the younger generation.
“Unfortunately, reports state about 6,000 Umno membership applications from youths were rejected.
“Therefore, the Umno Supreme Council decided that if applications are not approved in 60 days, applicants will become members automatically,” he said.
According to Zahid, leaders at the branch and division level need to realise that rejecting membership applications will result in voters choosing the opposition.
“Umno is not exclusive, but is inclusive for the Malays,” he added. He said the youths need to be informed that Umno is a party that champions Malay survival and Islam in the country.
“We use politics to strengthen the country, but there are some parties that use religion for politics,” said Zahid. — Bernama