Tengku Adnan: Umno Still Commands Malay Support

(Bernama) – Umno is still strong and a choice party of the Malays despite attempts to create a perception that it is no longer relevant, said its secretary-general, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor. 

He said Umno was still the dominant party in the Barisan Nasional (BN) but, at the same time, it was an authoritative voice in championing the interests of the Malays. 

“The interests of the Malays should not be sacrificed in the power sharing practice among BN component parties,” he said in an exclusive interview with Umno Online on negative perceptions of Umno portrayed by certain quarters.  

He said Umno would continue to spearhead the Malay agenda, including enhancing the Malays’ achievements in the economy without threatening the interests of the other races. 

“The Malay agenda, which includes the special privileges of the majority, should be seen as an element in determining the sustainability and the survival of Malaysia as a multi-racial country and as a nation,” he said. 

Tengku Adnan said Umno would continue to be close to the hearts of the people and have a better future based on the party’s ability to change and adapt itself in confronting domestic and global challenges. 

He said managing a successful party like Umno was not easy, but it had been managed effectively. 

“Trust me. Umno is a successful party, not a failed party or on the verge of collapse. Umno is a party that manages a country which has become successful, involving various races and religions. 

“The fact is the people can see that Malaysia is not only successful but active and plays an important role in the global community. 

“In such a context, Umno shoulders a formidable task in balancing the interests of the Malays and other races, and in the interplay of power in the global arena. And so far, Umno has been successful in balancing the act,” he said.

Tengku Adnan dismissed an assumption that Umno was weakening and that the position of the Malays was vulnerable as an attempt to divert public attention from the agenda set. 

He said notwithstanding the criticisms, the fact remained that Malaysia continued to be endowed with good leaders from the era of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj to Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and now Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. 

Tengku Adnan wanted the people to remain optimistic and constructive on the country’s future under the leadership of the BN despite whatever the tests and interpretations. 

He called on the people to reject opposition parties which thrived on dishonest relations in pursuing their own agenda.

PAS is now seen as being misled as a political ploy by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to the extent of compromising its main principle to establish an Islamic country, said Tengku Adnan.

“The DAP joined the bandwagon not because of PAS but due to promises made by Anwar that PAS will not pursue the Islamic nation principle,” he said.