General assembly will be a show of unity and discipline, says Najib


(Bernama) — The 2012 Umno General Assembly is set to give a signal that the party is thoroughly prepared for the general election, that it has risen stronger, more disciplined, more solid and capable of assuring a better future for all Malaysians under the Barisan Nasional (BN).

Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the gathering of 5,447 party delegates should portray a party which was prepared in the true meaning of the word.

“Whether in terms of the image of our party, direction of the party, unity in the party, organisation, right up to the grass root, (the assembly) should portray a party which is already firm, strong and has a high fighting spirit and motivation to ensure a major victory for Umno and BN,” he said.

In a special interview with editors of Bernama and Utusan prior to the general assembly next week, the Prime Minister also stressed the importance of organisational discipline towards giving strength in ensuring the success of the party.

Najib said, “If we have organisational discipline, I believe it will give us strength, a very great strength because we have the number which must be buttressed with the strength of party discipline.

“If we do not receive an order following the chain of command, it means we have gone against discipline and as a consequence we can lose in a war.”

He said the focus of the debate must lead towards the positive attitude of Umno on its direction and confidence in the leadership, and subsequently to provide answers to accusations thrown by the opposition at the Umno and BN leaderships.

Taking PAS as an example of a party hiding behind its Islamic image, Najib said, “This must be discussed by Umno and if possible we come up with strong arguments, so we can emerge as the main party among the Malays”.

The prime minister said Umno’s situation was better compared to a year ago and “surely is better than the pictures which we see in the opposition pact which show parties not sharing the same aspirations, fragile ties and much of what they tried to hide all these while have been exposed”.

He said the difference in directions and opinions among the opposition was becoming obvious with the issues of who should be prime minister, views on freedom to change religions and opinions on practices not in line with Islam.

“If we look between the two, Umno and BN had boosted confidence while the opposition parties had raised more question marks and controversies which can be questioned by voters,” he said.

Asked about his effort to revive Umno after BN’s poor performance in the general election in 2008, Najib said, “I hold on to the principle of getting up after falling down and continuing to work hard after being successful”.

As such, he said when he took over the leadership of the party and government, he was committed to do whatever possible to revive Umno and BN, starting with the 1  Malaysia concept: People First, Performance Now as a master philosophy of his administration.

He said his administration policies were inclusive by upholding social justice and forwarding new ideas which were more creative.

“I truly understand, in this 21st century, supremacy can be obtained by those parties who win in contests of ideas.

“This is why many programmes which we implement today were never thought of before. From 1 Malaysia People’s Shop, 1 Malaysia Clinic, Urban Transformation Centre, Rural Transformation Centre, 1 Malaysia People’s Taxi, 1 Malaysia People’s Aid, et cetera,” he said.