LANGKAWI – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today reminded past leaders to bear in mind the concept of the turning wheel and give the opportunity to leaders after them to lead in their own way.
The Barisan Nasional Chairman and UMNO President said the current leaders should be entrusted to carry on with the journey and legacy because a struggle based on idealism could not be fulfilled in a short time.
“There is the concept of the turning wheel in our lives. One day, we will be down there, then we support those who are up there. Only then can our struggle be fulfilled and our leadership gain the appreciation of the people who will evaluate our deeds and legacy.
“This is the concept of leadership, not by way of condemning and trying to destroy a party that has done us much service. This is not the way of the people who love UMNO,”he said.
Najib was opening the Langkawi UMNO Division delegates meeting attended by more than 1,000 party members. Also present was division chief Datuk Nawawi Ahmad.
Najib said he himself carried on with the legacy and struggle of the previous five prime ministers by adding value to every basis of the struggle, not by destroying what had been built and nurtured thus far.
“I still remember. I do not forget easily. I remember a leader saying that when we do not have any position, we have to support the new leader because when we were leaders others backed us and that was why we were successful,” he said.
However, he said, what was happening now was the reverse because that leader was seen as trying to destroy the 71-year-old UMNO.
“Former adversaries are now pals, former friends are now enemies. What’s this? This is not morality in politics, this is the politics of anger, disappointment and forgetting the fundamentals of the struggle,” he said.
Najib said history had proven that past leaders who left UMNO would eventually realise that they would not be strong without the party, and feel that they had lost something within them.
“For example, Datuk Onn Jaafar (who founded UMNO) left the party and established Parti Negara, but that party was in no way comparable to UMNO,” he said.
Illustrating himself as a ?shady tree’, Najib said he realised that he would not be strong without UMNO and the support of its members.
Nevertheless, he said, he was hopeful that the three million UMNO members who were the party’s strength would fully back him and not let him be alone.
“A party is much bigger than individuals, and as such we must defend the party. If UMNO is regarded as a large ship, we cannot punch a hole in it because we will then be unable to take the passengers to the destination, he said.
Referring to Langkawi, Najib said he would give serious attention to bringing greater development to the legendary resort island.
“People of Langkawi, do not worry or panic. The UMNO-led government will continue to ensure that Langkawi undergoes intensive development to become more progressive in the future,” he said, and pledged to retain the duty-free status of the island.
Najib said the government had provided much allocation of funds to the Langkawi parliamentary constituency, for example, to expand the international airport, upgrade the jetty in Kuah and provide electricity in Pulau Tuba.
“As long as there is UMNO and the BN, this place will have an excellent future. Do not worry. I will bring much more progress to Langkawi,” he said.