Umno and the Malays must unite and change their ways for the better to remain relevant to the people, incoming party president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.For his speech in full, click here
Najib said Umno could not continue to rest on its past glories and had to take heed that the people’s demands and the political landscape had changed completely.
“To remain relevant, we have no choice but to move with the times. Umno must change for the benefit of the people,” he told more than 2,000 delegates at the opening of the joint assembly of the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings Tuesday night.
“Change from being aloof to being friendly and approachable; from always thinking of our self interest to putting the interest of the people above our own; from laziness to diligence; and from doing the required minimum to embracing a passion for service,” he said.
Najib also spoke about the difference in outlook among different generations and said by looking at current demographics, more than one-third of the Malaysian population were within the 15-40 age group.
“More than 70% of those below 40 were born after the tragedy of May 13, 1969. Overall, 90% of the population were born post-Merdeka.
“We must always remember that this generation may not be able to relate to the past struggles of our party because they were never there and they only learn of past events from books and stories.”
Najib said this was not to suggest that the struggles of the past were no longer important but it demanded that Umno play its role as leaders of change to fulfil aspirations.
He added that if Umno did not undertake the process of identifying its strengths and weaknesses to advance itself, it would continue to be seen as a party still in denial.
“To do this, Umno must first remove itself from being linked to money politics and any other form of unsavoury activities.
“We must resolve to eradicate money politics right down to the roots. If not, we will all be collectively responsible for the demise of this beloved party of ours,” Najib said.
Najib added that another example of changing with the times included Umno having to start paying attention to the new media.
“We paid very little attention to it in 1999 and 2004 and in the end we were rudely awakened in 2008 when we suddenly realised the folly of not understanding the power of new media.”
Najib said the younger generation in Umno must be leaders in the utilisation of technology as an essential part of the party’s political arsenal.
Najib reminded delegates from the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings that their vote in the party elections would determine the survival of Umno in the context of Barisan Nasional’s worst election defeat in 2008.
“I implore you to give me a line of leaders who are strong and able. Present to me a team that has the traits of loyalty, integrity, ability and dedication to duty.”
Other major points:
> Calling for change to the quota system in order to qualify for the party elections so as to put an end to money politics;
> Urging Malays to master the English language as it is the medium for information and knowlege to progress;
>Umno to focus on ridding poverty in urban areas as more than two-third of Malaysians live in towna and notall do well; and
> Embrace the nwe meia in order to promote the party's ideas to the younger generation. - The Star