Anwar ‘using deceitful means to destroy party’

(NST) BATU PAHAT: Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday labelled opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the "biggest traitor to the Malay's struggles".


He also described Anwar as a "fork-tongued" leader who never hesitated to change his principles to further his own political ambition.

"He ) used to be a deputy prime minister and deputy president of Umno, the same as I am now, yet he is currently using deceitful means to destroy our struggle," he said when opening the Seri Gading Umno division meeting in Parit Raja, near here, yesterday.

He is telling everyone now that we (Umno) have been cruel. Do tell me, in what way have we been cruel? Why didn't he say this when he was one of our leaders?"

Muhyiddin said the opposition, under the leadership of Anwar, has been "spinning" facts to create a negative perception against Umno's efforts to defend Malay rights and institutions.

"Their tactic is to repeat a lie over and over again until the people believe in the lie.

"It has now come to a point where people have this perception that everything done by Umno is wrong and that there is not an iota of good in us. All of our good deeds in improving the lot of the Malays and developing the country for the benefit of every Malaysian over the past 50 years are no longer recognised."

Admitting Umno was not a "sinless" party, Muhyiddin said it has, nonetheless, been doing its best to rid itself of elements such as corruption, arrogance and inefficiency.

"It is okay for people to criticise us as we are not perfect. But I will not stand by idly if they (the opposition) resort to insulting the Malays and treating them with disrespect."

He called on Umno members to rise to the challenge of reviving the party and changing the negative perceptions against it.

"We have to work hard as we do not have much time. These next two or three years will be crucial as it is the all-important time frame which will determine whether Umno survives the next general election.

"Umno members must realise that just because we have been in power for so long, it does not mean we will stay in power forever. They must realise that if Umno falls, the Malays will also fall and so will our country.

"To our non-Malay friends, this is not, by any means, a racist statement as it is a fact that the Malays are the majority in this country and if anything bad befalls them, it will affect the country as a whole."

He reminded Umno members not to underestimate the opposition's boasts that they were on the verge of taking over the leadership of the country.

"Even now, they are excited about the next general election which they feel would be the time when they can push us away and rule the country."

While opening the Kulai Umno division meeting at Kampung Murni Jaya, Layang-layang near Simpang Renggam, Muhyiddin said the Malays should not worry about the government's 1Malaysia concept which promotes fair treatment of all Malaysians.

He said Malays' rights were enshrined in the Constitution and Umno would ensure it remained so.

Later, in Pagoh, Muhyiddin said the party should follow the government's approach of introducing its own key performance index so it could meet its targets over the next two to three years before the next general election.

By having a KPI, Umno leaders would be more aware of the projects that would benefit the people and this would have a positive impact on efforts to improve the people's confidence and support for the party, he said, after opening the Pagoh Wanita, Youth and Puteri Umno division meeting at the Dewan Seri Pekembar here.

On the Permatang Pasir by-election, he said Barisan Nasional would adopt a specific strategy to ensure its success.

"Even though Permatang Pasir is a Pas stronghold, we have shown, in Manik Urai, a Pas stronghold, that we can give them a challenge."

On a statement by Pas spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat that BN should not contest the by-election, he said this was an opportunity for the people to make a choice.

"We do not want to be as arrogant as Nik Aziz. Maybe Pas should not contest and give BN the opportunity to win the by-election," he added.

The Permatang Pasir state seat fell vacant following the death of its representative Datuk Hamdan Abdul Rahman, 63, of Pas, who died of heart failure at the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.