Najib: Umno more democractic than opposition

(Bernama) – Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has stressed that Umno embraces democracy and is not scared of the democracy as alleged by its political adversaries.

He said that was why when he took over the reins of the party and the government 30 months ago, he and his colleagues in the Umno Supreme Council, the Barisan Nasional (BN) Supreme Council and the Cabinet had decided to implement the reformation and transformation process.

“In the party, firstly, we expanded the franchise of electors for Supreme Council members. We want more people in Umno to be given the right to choose their leaders,” he said in his policy speech entitled “Umno Championing Transformation” at the opening of the general assembly 2011 at the Merdeka Hall, Putra World Trade Centre, here on Thursday.

He said Umno’s attitude in embracing democracy was precisely described by an English proverb, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”.

On the contrary, Najib, who is also the prime minister and BN chairman, said it was the opposition parties who were actually not democratic like Umno.

“We are not like our opponent. The first example, party A, the post of Ketua Umum (De Facto Leader), although he was not elected democratically, he has more power than the party president.

“Second example, party B calls itself a democratic party, however, it is totally undemocratic. Is it democratic when the branch delegates choose 20 members of the central committee, and these central committee members then choose the top party leadership? This totally does not reflect the wishes of the majority of members.

“For the third example, party C which purportedly champions the cause for a welfare state. Lahawlawala…., even for the post of spiritual leader it appears there is no democratic election, but he is more powerful than the president.

“Even worse, is party A, where the husband is the General Leader (de facto leader), the wife is president, the eldest daughter is vice-president, while the deputy president ….hrmm, no need for us to explain,” Najib said.

He said that for almost six decades, Umno had been the pillar behind the success of the nation and records showed that Umno had never dominated or intended to dominate the component parties of the Barisan Nasional as alleged by the opposition.

He said Umno was not embroiled in turmoil like the opposition which could not reach consensus on policy matters.

“For example, on the Islamic state, Party A says, not ever, Party B says, over my dead body. And Party C says let’s change to become a welfare state. This confuses the people,” he said.

Najib said compared to Umno, as the pillar of the BN, Umno took steps to work alongside and cooperate with component parties in pragmatic, realistic and honest manners.

“We accept Barisan Nasional’s partners as they are. We trust, depend on and understand each other even before the Independence. This has made us successful as the pillar in bringing prosperity to the country,” he said.

He said what was achieved today was not built in a short space of time but through struggles, sacrifices and hard work over the years.

“It was developed by our fathers, who were Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans, and others, including Orang Asli and Siamese. Their ambitions, their dreams, were none other than to provide a better life for us. This is being continued by the present generation who strive for a brighter future for our children and grandchildren,” he said.