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KUANTAN – UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz has urged party members to think in more serious terms as the time for being ‘jolly’ was over.

He said the 14th general election (GE14) was getting closer, and members should not rest on their laurels, but rather work to ensure victory for UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN).

He also urged for realistic decisions to be taken for the GE14, such as fielding suitable and winnable candidates in each contested constituency.

“UMNO today must be firm in placing candidates. For example, if 50 per cent of the voters in the area are Malays, then a representative from UMNO should be placed there.

“If we take a look at Perak in the last general election, we (UMNO) took back two (state assembly) seats namely, Pasir Panjang and Behrang and we won. In 2008, a component party contested there but lost.

“UMNO is not stingy, but we saw what happened. It is clear, that we cannot take it easy by saying that we have enough seats, but be sure to win (enough) to form the government,” he told reporters after opening the Kuantan UMNO Division Delegates Conference here today.

Also present were Kuantan UMNO Division chief Datuk Wan Adnan Wan Mamat.

Mohamed Nazri added that UMNO should also be more firm on the issue although he was aware that the decision may disappoint certain parties.

He said such a move could be made in the Kuantan parliamentary constituency as 65 per cent of the voters are Malay, giving UMNO a chance to win back the seat from PKR.

Mohamed Nazri also reminded UMNO leaders and members to strengthen the party machinery ahead of GE14, especially in fending off defamation attacks from the opposition.

“UMNO needs to strengthen the team before facing the enemy, and firmly believe that any defamation and slander against the top leadership is not true at all. Continue to work to help the people, cast aside all the slander, and never have a sense of doubt,” he said.

— BERNAMA

 

ALOR GAJAH – “The move to allow over 165,000 grassroot members to vote for the election of UMNO president in 2013 is a solid evidence that UMNO does not belong to me, unlike in the era of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Najib, who is also UMNO president, said in Tun Dr Mahathir’s era, the former prime minister and party president had used the ‘quota and bonus votes’ mechanism during party polls to ensure that he could retain power.

“After I became UMNO president, I abolished the mechanism and left my fate to be decided by over 165,000 UMNO members nationwide.

“It turned out that I won uncontested and it showed that UMNO openly supported my leadership. It is also a solid evidence that UMNO does not belong to me, but to all its members,” he said when opening the Masjid Tanah UMNO Division Delegates Conference here today.

Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahidi, Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron and UMNO Executive Secretary Datuk Seri Ab Rauf Yusoh, who is also Masjid Tanah UMNO chief. UMNO became more open, democratic and inclusive when the amendment to the party´s constitution was passed in 2009, which among others, increased the number of members allowed to vote for the election of top leadership and divisional leaders, and also abolished the quota system in party polls.

Najib said Tun Dr Mahathir became the Prime Minister and UMNO president not because he was a popular leader, but because he had ‘secured’ the party’s top leadership by using the “quota and bonus votes”.

“During the 1987 election, he (Tun Dr Mahathir) contested against Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and he won by only 43-vote majority. Although I was quite close to Tengku Razaleigh, I upheld the principle of wala’ (loyalty).

“Back then, I was UMNO Youth chief and Tun M was my boss, so I’m compelled to support him and I did pledged my support to him. But what did he do? He secured the top leadership using the quota and bonus votes,” Najib said.

He said as UMNO president, he had made various decision upon discussions with Ahmad Zahid and other UMNO leaders and as a result, UMNO has become a party which is more open today.

“Who is more dictator in the party? UMNO doesn’t belong to me. In fact, it is more open today than in the past. I became the party leader because of the support from UMNO members,” he said.

Meanwhile, Najib said he need not to look over his shoulder when performing his duties as the prime minister as he had full confidence in Ahmad Zahid.

He said the close relationship between him and Ahmad Zahid was not built yesterday, but had developed over the years since 1986 and many did not know what they had been through together.

“No one knows how many times we had attended the same courses and stayed in the same dormitory. No one knows Ahmad Zahid’s trials and tribulations in Bagan Datuk and how I, as the UMNO Youth chief, braved myself to campaign for him.

“Now that there is an attempt to shake my confidence in Ahmad Zahid, I would like to reassure you that my confidence in him cannot be shaken nor questioned by anyone,” Najib added.

— BERNAMA

 

JOHOR BAHRU – Deputy Prime MInister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has called on UMNO members to close ranks to defend ‘Rumah UMNO’ (party’s home) from being invaded by those who only wish to destroy it, including its own former leaders.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also UMNO vice president assuming the duties of party deputy president, said it was the responsibility of every UMNO member to protect and defend the party’s home from any kind of threats.

“This house of ours may have glass windows but we shall not let anyone, not even a former leader, to throw a rock and break our glass windows,” he said when opening the Pulai UMNO Division Delegates Conference at Tan Sri Mohamed Rahmat Complex here tonight.

While admitting that the task to protect the party’s 71-year-old home might be difficult, the pillars of the house were still strong and must be protected or even modernised in line with the change of time.

“The house must be preserved and not abolished or rebuilt as a new premises. The pillars are still strong, only the floors had begun to leak, but we can fix it or replace it with new floors,” he said to the cheers of the delegates.

Also present was Pulai UMNO chief who is also Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed and Johor UMNO secretary Datuk Md Jais Sarday.

— BERNAMA

JASIN: The Malays in this country should he wary of individuals with “Si Kitol” and “Raja Mendeliar” traits trying to cause disunity in the community, said UMNO Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

According to Sejarah Melayu (The Malay Annals), Si Kitol and Raja Mendeliar were treacherous, divisive individuals in 16th century Melaka, causing a situation that left Melaka vulnerable to the invading Portuguese, which led to the collapse of the Melaka Sultanate.

Ismail Sabri, who is Rural and Regional Development Minister, said the Malays must learn lessons from it so as not to repeat this dark episode in the country’s history by believing in such individuals.

“Today, there are a number of ‘Si Kitol’ and ‘Raja Mendeliar’ trying to destroy the Malay-led government, hence we must stop them,” he said when opening the Alor Gajah UMNO division delegates’ conference in Selandar, here, Sunday. Also present was division chief, Datuk Abdul Ghafaar Atan.

Ismail Sabri said the Malays formed the majority of the country’s population at around 60 per cent but if there were splits, they could be the minority.

“It’s worse if we are split by our own former party (UMNO) leaders. Imagine all our secret party strategies are with them too as they were also involved in the planning.

“Now that they’re working with the DAP, the strategies are given to the DAP, not just to destroy UMNO but the Malays as well.”

He said the UMNO-led government had successfully managed the people and country since independence, causing many nationals from countries which received their independence earlier, to come in droves to Malaysia to earn a living.

Ismail Sabri said the government had taken care of the Malays through such efforts like reducing hardcore poverty from 60 per cent before independence to less than one per cent now.

“The UMNO-led ruling government has proved itself able to look after the people’s lot. But where was the other side (opposition) when the Malays in Kampung Mutiara and the Indians in Kampung Buah Pala, Penang were evicted from their (BN) villages?” he said.

In KINABATANGAN, another UMNO Supreme Council member, Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin reminded party members to avoid infighting as it could split the party and cause it to lose in the 14th general election.

“What should be the priority is maintaining unity and remaining loyal to the party and leaders. Let’s not allow our emotions to hamper our struggles for the party,” he said when simultaneously opening the Kinabatangan UMNO division Wanita, Youth and Puteri delegates’ conference, Sunday.

He said to continue winning the hearts and minds of the grassroots, UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) members needed to work hard before and after the general election in serving the people regardless of their race, religion and political ideology.

“This is important to convince the voters, especially the fence sitters, to support BN for continued development,” he added. -BERNAMA

TEMERLOH – Umno is not a “guesthouse” for a certain leader to leave the party and returns to as he wishes, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

In alluding the trait to former party president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Zahid said the individual should have “just remained quiet” outside Umno and stop interfering with the party he is no longer part of.

Zahid, who is also Umno vice president, said the party did not need such characters, whose leadership had reached the “expiry date”.

“He seems to treat Umno like a guest house by checking in and out as he pleased. After he was sacked from the house (party) on Sept 26, 1969 by Tunku Abdul Rahman, he returned during Tun Abdul Razak’s leadership in 1972.

“Then he quit again on May 19, 2008, during Pak Lah’s (former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) time, and then returned in April 2009 when (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) took over before leaving in February last year.

“Now he is trying to destroy the house in a manner akin to ‘habis madu sepah dibuang’ (once the sweetness is gone, the leftover is discarded). If you cannot respect yourself then do not return again. We do no want you back,” Zahid said in his speech to the Temerloh Umno division meeting today.

Zahid said if the individual had honoured the party, he should have instead advised and provided assistance to new party leaders, instead of choosing to relentlessly attack Umno in a bid to destroy it.

“When Pak Lah completed (his time as prime minister), he never once took a saw to divide the organisation (meddle with Umno related matters).”

Using an analogy, Zahid said even a respected grandfather would have certainly provoked ill-feelings among his grandchildren should he constantly lashed them with a cane.

“It was not a small cane but a huge one (referring to accusations). So now, is it wrong if the grandchild runs away from the grandfather, and for each time the the was cane thrown at him, the grandchild would pick it up and hurled it back?

“That is exactly what the deputy of the house is doing (referring to his role as Umno vice president who carries the duties of a deputy president). The house owner (Umno top two leader ) daily get caning, so we throw the cane back at the grandfather

“If the grandfather cannot love his grandchildren, then he should not return home.”

Meanwhile, Zahid urged Umno grassroots members to reject former Umno leaders who had abandoned the party.

He said it is the responsibility of more than three million Umno members, including those at divisions and branches, to always defend and remain loyal the current party leadership to ensure Umno remains united and strong.

“Umno leaders and grassroots should not sympathise and support those who attempt to create disunity within Umno and bring down the party by continuously hurling accusations.

“Umno has been around for 71 years and we have seen many ‘house owners’ who have been always loyal. (But) there were some who have attempted to hurl stones and spears from within the glass house (Umno).

At the same time, Zahid told party members in Temerloh to reject a former deputy minister who previously served with Umno if the latter tries to offer himself to contest in the 14th General Election (GE14).

“He was given the opportunity to contest in Temerloh during the 12th General Election (1998) and became member of parliament. During the 13th general election(2013), he lost and later quit,” her said in reference to Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah who had joined PKR in 2015.

Describing himself as Najib’s loyalist, Zahid said he would never sit idly when Najib, who is the Umno president is attacked by various quarters.

“As part of Umno, I am not prepared to see such situation and will be in the front line to counter the attacks and to safeguard the president. I will always remain wala’ (loyal) to Najib.” -NST

SHAH ALAM – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will not be able to cause a split between him and his deputy, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Najib, who is also Umno president, said this was because the Pakatan Harapan chairman failed to understand that he and Zahid were close and had gone through “thick and thin” together since 1986.

“Zahid and I had been together a long time. We had went through thick and thin together.

“I had even fought for Zahid at his division, when he was challenged by his then Bagan Datuk Umno division chief.

Najid said as the Umno Youth chief then, he went to Bagan Datuk and gave a fiery speech defending Zahid.

“Later, he won (that year’s division election) with 11 votes. This had led Zahid’s division chief to complain to Tun Ghafar Baba, saying that it was because of the ‘useless’ Youth chief’s speech.”

“But I don’t care, because Zahid is my brother in Umno,” he told party delegates and members at the launch of Shah Alam Umno division delegates meeting, here today.

Najib said because of this, he would never believed the accusation that Zahid had met with Dr Mahathir to topple him.

He later claimed that Dr Mahathir, when in power, had used the now repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) against Zahid, who was the Umno Youth chief then, to force him to relinquish his post in the party.

“He (Dr Mahathir) then sent two Special Branch officers to see Zahid, and told him to sign a resignation letter if he want to cut short the detention period.

“Can you imagine, he forced Zahid, who was elected by delegates, to resign.

“But, when he thought everything was over, the officers returned the next day. This time, they told him to sign another letter that said he had relinquished his post willingly and without any pressure.

“This was akin to holding a gun to his head. So, when Zahid was accused of meeting Dr Mahathir after he was appointed as the DPM to topple me…impossible. I have full confidence in my deputy,” said Najib.

In his speech earlier, Najib also chided Dr Mahathir, who helmed Umno for 22 years, for trying to destroy the party.

He said even if Dr Mahathir has issues with him, the latter should not betrayed the party’s struggle.

He said while having differences was normal, Dr Mahathir seemed to have problems with everyone in Umno since Tunku Abdul Rahman’s time.

This, Najib added, even included Tun Hussein Onn who had appointed Dr Mahathir as prime minister.

“Since that time, he had issues with Tunku. Even Tun Hussein, who had appointed him as PM, he spoke ill behind their back.

“Who else? Tengku Razaleigh (Hamzah), Musa (Tun Musa Hitam), Anwar (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim), Pak Lah (Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi), Tun Ghafar (Baba) who he set aside just like that…

“Only Tun Razak he did not have the chance to, he waited for Tun Razak’s son.

“There’s so many people he had issues with, were all of them wrong? So he was the only one who is right?” -NST

 

SUNGAI PETANI – Kedah UMNO leaders need to do four things to strengthen the party and ensure that Barisan Nasional (BN) win the 14th general election (GE14).

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the first thing was for the leaders to come down to the grassroots regularly.

“We are not seasonal leaders. Listen to the voice of the grassroots. Secondly, the leaders have to be in agreement. Nobody wants to see the leaders fighting,”he said when opening the Merbok UMNO division delegates meeting, here last night.

Also present were Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Bahsah Md Hanipah and Merbok UMNO division chief Datuk Tajul Urus Mat Zain.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also UMNO vice-president, said the third thing was to pick likeable and winnable candidates while the fourth was to step out of the comfort zone.

He reminded the UMNO leaders to learn a lesson from losing Kedah in the 12th general election, all because they were buoyed by the big win in the 11th general election.

— BERNAMA

 

PARIT – UMNO president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today said UMNO does not engage in politics of fear, but will always convince the people to continue to have confidence in the party for it to administer the country.

He said only parties which did not have power and wanted to topple the government would engage in politics of fear.

The Prime Minister said there were two dimensions in politics, namely the ‘politics of fear’ and ‘politics of hope’ where UMNO, as the party in power, did not need to play ‘politics of fear’ because by doing so, it would destroy the people’s hopes.

“We will be in disarray, disorganised, uncertain, aimless (if resorting to politics of fear), UMNO will continue to give hope for the people because it has been proven that for the 60 years UMNO has been in power, we are the party that has done a lot of deeds and brought changes to Malaysia,” he said when opening Parit UMNO delegates conference here today.

Also present were Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, who is also Perak UMNO liaison committe chairman and Parit Member of Parliament Datuk Mohd Zaim Abu Hasan.

Najib said the people had a choice to either opt for the DAP-led opposition or continue to remain with UMNO-led Barisan Nasional (BN).

He also touched on the 51- kilometre Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project, saying that would indirectly spur the rural economy.

“There are questions as to why I made the allocation for the Klang Valley. Let me explain, when we carry out projects in Kuala Lumpur, it boosts our economy. When the economy grows, the country’s revenue will increase.

“When the is more revenue, we channel it to the rural areas also,” he said.

His advice to UMNO members in Parit was for them to carry out activities to enhance the people’s support for BN and retain UMNO’s win in Parit in the coming general election.

He also approved a RM3 million allocation for repair of houses in the Parit constituency and an application for 3,100 hectares of padi fields in Parit to come under the Seberang Perak Integrated Agriculture Development Area (IADA).

The prime minister also agreed to provide an allocation for repair of the nine-kilometre long Jalan Parit-Siputeh.

— BERNAMA

 

MELAKA – UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) will prioritise candidates who are wanted and favored by the people for the 14th General Election (GE14), Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

Hence, the UMNO Vice-President performing the duties of the Deputy President, said all parties should not lobby to become a GE14 candidate because Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak himself knows which candidate is preferred and becomes the people’s choice.

“What is important (in choosing a GE14 candidate) is the choice of the people, the taste of the people. We will prioritise whom the people want. The Prime Minister will give the people whom they want.

“No need to lobby (to become a candidate) via an agency or whatever. This time, the Prime Minister will not take any risk if the candidate is not wanted by the people, we do not want to cast aside the candidates the people want,”he said when opening the Tangga Batu UMNO Division delegates meeting here tonight.

Also present at the event at the Melaka International Trade Centre in Ayer Keroh, was Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, who is also the Tangga Batu UMNO Division chief and more than 1,000 delegates from the division.

Ahmad Zahid said when the leadership had determined the candidates who would contest in the 14th general election, all party members must accept and express support to them to ensure the victory of the party in the general election.

Meanwhile, he said all UMNO and BN machinery had to focus work on areas identified as ‘retain’ and ‘regain’ ahead of the 14th general election.

“We have the ‘retain and regain’ principle where we retain the area we have, while regaining the area that the opposition won.

“For the seats that are expected to be won, I feel (elected representatives) should go down and give the best service to the people,”he said.

He said the party’s leadership had detailed information on which elected representatives had gone down to serve the people and those who had failed to do so.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid said the co-operation of the opposition parties in Pakatan Harapan was not as united and as solid as the co-operation between the BN component parties.

“I see on the other side (opposition parties), there is no integration between them but our 13 (component) political parties are still in BN. They do not last because they have different directions and ideologies,”he said.

He said BN must be smart in using the media, especially social media, in communicating with the target groups and not using it to fight among themselves.

“If in the last general election we sank because we were were not proficient (in social media) but not now,”he said.

— BERNAMA

BATU PAHAT – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today expressed his confidence in Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and other UMNO leaders in the state to lead the onslaught against the opposition in the next general election.

He noted that the opposition had been taking drastic action in their strategy to wrest certain state and parliamentary constituencies.

“We see that the opposition have taken drastic action to transfer voters to constituencies where they won or lost narrowly.

“But I trust in the leadership of Mohamed Khaled and his friends to stave off the challenge,” Zahid who is also UMNO vice president, told reporters when asked for his comments on Johor’s position as a BN stronghold, after opening the Batu Pahat UMNO delegates meeting here today.

In the 13th general election, Johor BN won 21 of 26 parliamentary seats and 38 of 56 state seats. – BERNAMA