Deputy Prime Minister, Dato Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, sounded the war drum when he urged UMNO delegates attending the party’s 71st General Assembly to further strengthen the party, unite and cast aside personal interests. He told the delegates to adopt winning strategies in the hope of performing convincingly at the 14th General Elections which is expected to be held early next year.
“We have to go all out to ensure a convincing win for UMNO and Barisan Nasional. We will win with a bigger majority. We shall defend the seats that we won at the last general elections and we shall win back the seats that we lost with narrow margins,” he said when officiating the opening of the Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings simultaneously at Merdeka Hall, Putra World Trade Centre.
Zahid, who is also officiating the duties of UMNO’s Deputy President, reiterated the need for delegates and members from the three wings to work in solidarity and cohesiveness in order to ensure a convincing win in the upcoming 14th General Elections. He urged them to turun padang (go down to the field) with an open heart, reach out to the people and touch their hearts. There should be no one left out and that every eligible voter ought to be reached.
“We have to understand the feelings and needs of the populace and that of our target audience. We have to gain their trust. On the selection criteria, UMNO will choose winnable, likeable, capable, trustworthy and intelligent candidates and those with a penchant to serve the people who will be fielded in the next general elections,” he said.
“UMNO shall not be defeated. We shall not allow Putrajaya to change hands. We will ensure that Putrajaya will remain steadfastly in the hands of UMNO and Barisan Nasional,” he said to the applause and cheers of some 2,500 odd delegates in attendance last night. We shall set our goals and roadmap with the intention of winning more than two-thirds majority in Parliament at G.E. 14. One vote for the Barisan Nasional means one vote for the formation of a reliable and responsible federal government.
Other Barisan Nasional component parties ought to also play their respective roles in order to garner votes for the party. “Component parties want seats and we allocate to them accordingly. But in the course of giving way, we also expect those component parties to do their part to woo their members to vote for BN,” reiterated Zahid.
On Sabah and Sarawak, Zahid said that UMNO and BN have always shown care and concern to the people there. The government has closely monitored the security situation and is committed to continually maintain peace and order. On the issue of nation building, Dato Seri Zahid reminded delegates that the party is not just for the Malays but for all races in the country. UMNO’s battle platform is for all races. The party does not adhere to a narrow agenda in fighting solely for the fate of the Malays as the party subscribe to the principle of inclusiveness. UMNO is the pillar of strength to the various component parties within the BN family.
On the international front, Malaysia has done well and had effectively brought to the attention of the President of the United States as well as the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the need to address the plight of the Rohingyas. They, as a community of people, have been tortured and had faced various atrocities in the form of ethnic cleansing while being displaced from their own land located in the state of Rakhine, Myanmar.
“As pressure mounted, Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi had to concede to the repatriation of the Rohingya to Rakhine province under the supervision of an International Monitoring Team,” he revealed.
Zahid also congratulated the UMNO youth wing for being vocal and standing up against the Prime Minister of Singapore who had earlier came out with a scathing statement regarding the effort by Malaysia to claim back Pulau Batu Putih based on new found evidence.
Dato Seri Zahid concluded his address by reminding delegates that religious and racial harmony, mutual understanding and respect for each other and the freedom of worship are cornerstones towards achieving peace and prosperity. Although Islam is accepted as the official religion of the country, non-Muslims are free to practice their own religion and adhere to their very own religious teachings and way of life.
“This is enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution and if we expect to embrace development and progress, we must first preserve the peace and harmony that have prevailed in our country,” stressed the Deputy Prime Minister.
The 71st UMNO General Assembly continues until 9th December. 4,000 UMNO delegates from 191 Divisions across the country, except Sarawak, are attending the week long Assembly.