Two years to regain people’s trust: Muhyiddin

(Bernama) Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) had this year and the next to regain the confidence and trust of the people.

He said people were talking of the 13th general election in 2013 but he felt that work must start right now on the approaches and changes, whether they were on the Umno organisation, structure or programmes.

Muhyiddin, who is also Umno deputy president, spoke to reporters after a "tahlil" and "doa selamat" for Umno members from his Pagoh division at his residence, here.

He said the primary focus of action during the two-year period would be to ensure that the leadership at all levels understood the new direction of the party and took measures to revive the party's image and improve the people's perception of it.

"I do not want the people to wait too long. There will be talk then that Umno has yet to change. There will be statements that the BN is the same as before. The 'wow' factor will not be there. This is not good for the party," he said.

As such, he said, Umno and the BN should work hard in the next two years, with the relevant targets in place and the party leaders at all levels understanding the government's aspirations and translating them for the benefit of the members and the people.

"At times, there may be situations when party members do not understand what the leaders are saying, giving little impact to the message. This is not good for the party's image," he said.

Muhyiddin said the next general election was four years away but the next two years were important for the leadership to evaluate the people's support for the party.

"If we find that the people's acceptance is not there yet in the two-year period, that there are many weaknesses, then we have one more year (before the general election). That is how I work. I usually set a suitable schedule.

"Let's not remain complacent and then realise it is too late. If it is too late, nothing can be done. We have to accept the consequences of our failure or neglect," he added.

Muhyiddin said that to continue empowering the party, the spirit of the members must be rejuvenated, and added that this could be done by organising motivational programmes and work camps in which leaders at all levels participated.

These programmes should take into account the participation of leaders from the party's wings, something which had not been considered over the last several years, he said.

Muhyiddin said the party's management committee under his leadership would prepare a special training module based on the new political landscape.

He said that in instituting change, the focus should not only be on the superficial aspect but on the essence as well, whereby an understanding of such things as the Federal Constitution, the position of the Rulers and the concept of the Rukun Negara had to be fostered.