PUTRAJAYA – The problems faced by UMNO, whether in the organisation or leadership, is normal for any political party which is dynamic said UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, however, said the challenges could be tackled by the sacred party of the Malays, if it was based on the spirit of loyalty.
“Although leaders come and go, based on history, loyalty to whoever leads UMNO will ensure the party continues to be strong as a party of the Malays,” he said when opening the Putrajaya UMNO division delegates meeting here Wednesday night.
Explaining further, Ahmad Zahid said UMNO’s political life cycle could be seen since 1998 when the party was banned and gave birth to Semangat 46 which was an UMNO splinter.
PAS now was also beset with the same problem with splinter called Gerakan Harapan Baharu being created, he said.
Also present was UMNO secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who is also the division’s chief and Putrajaya Member of Parliament.
Ahmad Zahid said it was normal for a leader to be tested to determine his competitiveness, resilience and fighting spirit.
“Leaders are tested, and now the UMNO president is being tested. Past leaders also went through (albeit) different types of tests,” he said.
He drew attention to the fact that when he stated it was not wrong for UMNO members to differ in opinions, it should be constructive and not reckless.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid said holding posts in the party was not permanent, but the leaders picked should shoulder the responsibilities and trust given to them.
“I know that holding a post whether at branch, division, state or the national level is temporary in nature.
“We, as UMNO members, must loyally carry out what is expected of us by the party for the stability of our struggle,” said Ahmad Zahid.
The UMNO vice-president said that the ‘noisy minority’ could overwhelm the ‘silent majority’ because they had a very systematic communication method where lies could be regarded as truth.
“As leaders and members of UMNO, we can no longer live in our comfort zone, but have to get out of the zone.
“It is no longer business as usual. The political situation (now) is different from the situation a decade ago, maybe different from when UMNO was founded,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid also reminded that the Putrajaya Parliamentary seat must be defended by Barisan Nasional (BN) as failure to do so would manifest the downfall of UMNO and BN.
“But, my confidence is very strong in Tengku Adnan’s leadership,” he added.