Lead the change, PM tells Umno

(The Star) PEKAN: The culture of looking after one’s own clique and race is no longer tenable and as such Umno should take the lead to change, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Umno president said party leaders at all levels must listen to the people, serve them well and help them solve problems in efforts to restore the party’s strength.

“We cannot afford to be complacent and assume that Umno will be politically immune forever,” he said in his speech at the opening of the Pekan Umno division annual general meeting yesterday.

Najib said the willingness to change was important to ensure that Umno was able to defend its position as the backbone of the ruling coalition and supported by the people.

“We must help all people including the Chinese, the Indians and the orang asli in the true spirit of 1Malaysia,” he said.

Najib, who heads the division, said grassroots leaders must start paying attention to the grouses of the people and help solve their problems.

“Firstly, we should adopt the culture of listening … we should always listen to the voice of the people.

“We should always be close to them and not distance ourselves, to be humble in our approach and not be egoistic, and to refrain from being elitists.

“Serve the people, not the cliques. We should serve at all times and not just when there is an election, hoping to be chosen as candidates,” he said.

Najib also urged Pekan Umno members to follow closely national developments as they were the unofficial “spokespersons” of the Government.

He said they should familiarised themselves with concepts such as “1Malaysia, KPIs (key performance indicators) and KRAs (key result areas) so that they could explain them to the people.

“I can foresee people coming to Pekan to get to know us, similar to the influx to Kepala Batas (former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s area) before this.

“There are so many events and functions to attend to so much so that my wife is already complaining that I go straight to sleep upon entering the room,” he said in jest.

This is the first division meeting chaired by Najib as party president.