KUALA LUMPUR – The priority for every UMNO member is to focus on ensuring outstanding victory for UMNO and the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the upcoming general election (GE), said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The UMNO vice-president, who is discharging the duty of UMNO deputy president, said as such UMNO must maintain its resilience, competitiveness and fighting spirit for this purpose.
If these elements could be imbued into the party and supported by its leadership, UMNO would continue to be strong despite facing various tests and challenges, he said in an interview during a special programme “Ruang Bicara Khas”, by Bernama News Channel hosted by Datuk Dahlan Maamor in conjunction with the 2017 UMNO General Assembly.
“In this context, the sense of working as a team and the feeling of togetherness must be strengthened, regardless whether we face whatever issue, but if we are strong, such strength could give us the fighting spirit, resilience and competitiveness for the party,” he said.
On the party’s readiness to face the coming GE, Ahmad Zahid said UMNO and BN were more ready to face the pressure exerted by the opposition compared with the previous GE.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, said thus it was crucial for every UMNO member and delegate attending the general assembly beginning on Dec 5 to 9 to always be prepared and show the party’s strength, especially as the general assembly would be the last before the GE.
He said UMNO had also studied the cadre methodology and strategy adopted by political parties worldwide including the success of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Japan in the last general election in that country.
“We saw how the LDP in Japan went through the experience faced by UMNO and the BN, but in the last GE in Japan, (Prime Minister) Shinzo Abe (who leads the LDP) had for the first time in several decades received a two-third majority voice, when the opposition eventually disintegrated.
“The LDP, as a strong party, could translate the team spirit, thus it was clear the victory went to the LDP, we learn from the successes of the LDP and various parties worldwide as well as the cadreship methodology and strategy, and the spirit to translate the methodology and thinking,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid pointed out that the UMNO preparation was not seasonal or merely for the general election, on the other hand, it was something that was continuous that must be translated all the time by fulfilling all the agendas and pledges expressed before the general election.
“As we are consistent, the continuity in translating the pledges through various programmes and transformations enabled us to be prepared within the stipulated schedule for us to provide the best service to the whole population,” said Ahmad Zahid.
He also urged the UMNO members to forget for the time being the internal party election at the upcoming general assembly and to instead focus on the agenda to face the approaching GE.
He said the question of position in the party would be irrelevant if UMNO and the Barisan Nasional (BN) failed to achieve victory or merely obtained a small majority in the general election.
“What is the point of holding position in the party if we lose and cannot form the government, I feel this is no longer relevant, even if we sit on comfortable chairs in politics, this will be meaningless if we cannot form the government.
“I feel we must give priority to this issue (GE14), we must stress on this priority and I repeat, focus on achieving outstanding victory in the GE 14,” he added.