Malaysia

Najib: Umno cannot rely on past glory for polls win

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
May 05, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 — Umno cannot harp on past achievements for electoral support as voters today want to know the party’s future plans for Malaysia, the Prime Minister has said. 

Datuk Seri Najib Razak (picture) said that Umno’s 3.3 million-strong members needed to be clear about the party’s goals ahead of the next general election, stressing that they must avoid “muddling” the party’s goals with self-interests or political aspirations. 

“As a party which has been in existence for so long, indeed our value and deeds are invaluable. But the voters of today will not look into our glorious past, in terms of history. 

“They want to know what are our struggles for today and in the future. We cannot therefore rely on history alone, we must look at Umno in the present context and in future,” Najib was quoted as saying in an interview with Umno Online. 

A full transcript of the interview was made available on Bernama Online. 

The Umno president said all Umno members needed to play a part to ensure that the party machinery was moving in tandem before the 13th GE is called. 

“We should value our votes because there had been times when Umno members had not voted in elections. So we must ensure that each of the 3.3 million members have a role to play,” said Najib. 

Umno, Najib pointed out could no longer adopt a “business-as-usual attitude” must go all out in executing strategies especially in states which Barisan Nasional (BN) had lost to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in the 2008 general election. 

He said although there are indications of a “wind of change” blowing in PR states, the question was whether voters there were prepared to support BN in the next national polls. 

“This is where we should intensify our effort to explain to the people that opposition parties have no capability to administer the country and the states under them, contrary to what they have been claiming. 

“Let’s not do things or contribute in a flat or mediocre manner. If we want to topple the opposition-led governments in these states, we must strive more than usual,” added Najib, saying that party unity was key to a future polls win. 

BN suffered its worst polls performance when it lost five states to PR back in 2008, under the leadership for then-prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. 

After taking over in 2009, Najib set about making a slew of reform pledges, including liberalisation of the economy as well as a repeal of draconian laws such as the Internal Security Act (ISA), and had even set up a bi-partisan parliament committee to look into electoral reforms in Malaysia. 

But groups such as Bersih have remained unconvinced of PM Najib’s polls reform pledges and took their dissatisfaction to the streets last weekend, barely a year since its last street rally on July 9. 

Najib is expected to call for elections as soon as June this year, after months of delivering one-off aid payments throughout the country as well as having unveiled his administration’s minimum wage policy last week.