KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he is not a party president who wants all UMNO leaders to behave as ‘yes man’ to him.
The UMNO president said if all leaders in the party become ‘yes man’, then there would be no differences in opinion in the party.
“But I am a president who wants our party to be disciplined. To hold on to party principles.
“We can change our views or argue in a meeting, if we want to bang the table we can also do so, just do not throw the chairs. But when the party makes a decision, we have to stand behind the collective responsibility,” he said.
He was speaking at the opening of the Bandar Tun Razak UMNO division delegates meeting here today which was also attended by UMNO secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who is also Federal Territory UMNO Liaison Committee chairman.
The Prime Minister said even though party leaders and members might disagree over a certain matter that had been decided, it could be renegotiated.
“I am not an autocratic person. Ask Ku Nan (Tengku Adnan), he also disagrees sometimes, but he remained as secretary-general,” he said.
He stressed that all attacks hurled at him as UMNO president were aimed at weakening the party.
“If we want to weaken UMNO, attack the party president. That is why I was attacked…not because I am Najib but because I am the party president. So when I was the deputy president, I was not attacked,” he said.
He said since its establishment, UMNO has gone through various challenges, including leaders who left the party to set up other parties to contest against UMNO.
However, Najib said the position of the party was not threatened as the biggest factor UMNO faces was the unity of its members.
He said among the main challenges confronting UMNO now was the dissemination of information via social media.
“Do not accept all that is written in social media as they can be more dangerous than street demonstration.
“Street demonstration may not threaten UMNO but if poisoned via social media in real time, hundreds of thousands of people will be able to read and absorb the information in their minds. This is a new threat to the strength of UMNO,” he said.
He also wanted UMNO members to use the social media to correct the wrong perception against the party and government.
“When we see inaccurate views, we enter social media…to give our views. If we see something we do not like and we see the party president being attacked, we counter attack,” he said.
In this regard, Najib advised Barisan Nasional (BN) members to be more positive and do not think that this alliance will lose in the next general election over various problems and challenges it is facing now.
“If we are united in implementing a strategy to correct the perception and build the people’s confidence, UMNO and BN will succeed in the coming general election,” he said. – BERNAMA