KUALA TERENGGANU – Umno must adopt new aprpoaches and move away from operating as “business as usual” because the party is the hope of the Malays who want a party which is bolder to face challenges, said Deputy Prime Minister and Umno deputy president, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said because Umno appeared slow to change, the people were becoming more daring to question Umno’s struggle, especially in championing the race, religion and the country.
“Umno is seen as weak, not brave to move forward. Many quarters are even beginning to question our fundamental rights openly when previously they wouldn’t but now are doing it on social media ,” he said when opening Terengganu Umno’s annual convention here today.
Muhyiddin, said he too had been questioned why Umno was not vocal, afraid to mobe forward and why only non-governmental organisations were fighting for the fate of the Malays.
He said it was for this reason that Umno remained firm in defending the Sedition Act, to curb elements that could destroy unity and the country’s sovereignty.
Muhyiddin said it was time for Umno to act and to prove that the party was still relevant to champion the people’s interests.
“What is important is to strengthen out party. I support the motion to strengthen unity in the country moved by the Terengganu Umno,” he added.
He also said that Umno, as the pillar of the Barisan Nasional (BN), had yet to fully recover from the problems facing the party since the 13th general election .
“Even the prime minister, when chairing the BN supreme council meeting two days ago, said there are still not enough changes because some are still in a state of denial,” he added.
He said in GE13, Umno and BN only won 133 of the 222 parliamentary seats, and lost to the opposition in Kelantan, Penang and Selangor, apart from winning a simple majority in Terengganu.
Muhyiddin also hoped for changes in Terengganu under the New Terengganu Transformation initiative mooted by Menteri Besar Datuk Razif Abdul Rahman.
“Now we only have 17 state seats, in GE 12 we had at least 22 seats. We have lost and also won, time to strengthen back our struggle,” he added.
Terenganu Umno deputy chief Datuk Jailani Johari, who is also Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister, told reporters that the outcomes at the convention would be brought up the Umno general assemmbly which will be held in the federal capital at the end of this month.
“I urged the leadership at all levels, at the division, branches and grassroots to uphold the party spirit so that Terengganu Umno will remain strong,” he said.
He added that the presence of two top party leaders, Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and vice president Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein had fired up the members to achieved a greater victory in the state for the BN in the next general election.
Meanwhile, Terengganu Umno Information chiefÂ Wan Abul Hakim Tan Sri Wan Mokhtar said Terengganu Umno would consolidate various aspects of the party struggle so as to enable it to return to its glory days (when it easily won two thirds majority in any election.
Among these were strengthening the position of Islam, the status of the Malays, upholding the sovereignty of the institution of the Malays rulers and the supremacy of the constitution. – BERNAMA