Last night, Datuk Najib Tun Razak, who is Umno Deputy President told party members to get ready for the next general election, and defined for them what readiness meant.
"To to step up their preparedness for the next general election" does not mean making new bush jackets or baju kurung in anticipation of becoming candidates.
"Nor does it include whispering campaigns, jostling against one another and moving about to and fro bringing along one's resume to lobby for candidacy.
"Our attitude should be one of acceptance. If we are chosen, well and good, if not then so be it, for there is always wisdom behind every decision."
Datuk Najib said this at the joint opening of the Youth, Wanita and Puteri's Umno wings' assemblies at the PWTC here. The event was telecast live.
They should instead get ready by activating the party's election machinery at all levels: ballot box areas, electoral constituencies, branch offices and divisions throughout the country, he said.
Najib said that while the date of the 12th general election was entirely the prerogative of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the reality of the country demanded that the general election be won with more than a two-thirds majority to ensure that "we can effectively govern and maintain stability".
"Our confidence in repeating our sterling success in the last elections is not without basis."
This, he added stemmed from the defeat of PAS in the Kuala Berang and Pengkalan Pasir by-elections, DAP in Machap, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in Ijok and the independent candidate in Batu Talam.
Najib said every single victory, with impressive majorities, was due to the people's resounding support for Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN).
Bernama has the report here
In keeping with the theme of his speech, entitled "Elevating a National Civilisation", Najib called on Malaysians, especially the Malays, to constantly reach for the stars to help mould an outstanding civilization.
Malaysians, he said, have to dare to dream the impossible dream and pursue that dream relentlessly.
To achieve this, the nation has to use five main thrusts:
* A global peopel with first class mentality:
He spoke of the achievement of our angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukur was a "literal manifestation of our aspirations to elevate our civilisation and reach for the stars."
* Knowledge & education:
"The most important investment that a Malay family can make is not the procurement of land, property or fancy cars. The most important investment is the investment in our childrens education."
* Religion & culture:
"When embrace Islam...and while we do so, we recognise the constitutional rights and practice of other races to practise."
* Economic growth and equitable distribution (of the economic cake)
"The sharing of power should not be limited to the political realm but the sharing of economic power. Malays must be more active in economic activities to ensure that wealth distribution is more equitable."
* Political stability.
"The political reality of this country demands that we continuously win general elections, and win them with more than a two-third majority. Only then can we effectively govern and maintain stability."
For full text of his speech, read here
Tomorrow, party president Datuk Abdullah Badawi will address the 2,500 delegates from 190 division when he opens the three-day assembly, which will end on Friday.
His policy speech will be closely watched by delegates, members of the Barisan component parties and political observers for indication as to the direction the party will be taking as it prepares for the next general election.