PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Razak told Barisan Nasional leaders to leave their comfort zones and get closer to the people if they are not to be “punished” at the next general election.
Najib, the deputy prime minister and BN deputy chairman, said the ruling coalition must ensure that all programmes and projects were based on the needs of the rakyat.
“If we fail to handle this and other challenges, we will be punished in the 13th general election. The BN government cannot afford a disconnection between the people’s aspirations and the government’s direction.
He said this when launching a book, Politik Baru (New Politics), by Deputy Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
Also present were National Translation Institute chairman Datuk Wan Hashim Wan Teh and its managing director Mohd Khair Ngadiron.
For its agenda of change and reform, the BN, like it or not, needed capable and knowledgeable leaders to perform to the expectations of the people, Najib said.
“The leaders must be able to bring about significant and positive changes and have ideas that transcend barriers and regions.Â
“The people are mature enough to assess their leaders. They no longer want to hear rhetoric but about results and real change.
“The wave of change demands politicians who do not only smile but are rich in ideas and good in character.
“I urge all BN leaders to wake up and re-strategise so that changes can take place not only to themselves but also the party, for the sake of the people and nation.
“We can no longer afford to live in the comfort zone. We need to change our political paradigms and approaches to be more people-friendly and people-oriented.
Change had become a dominant theme in the world’s politics, Najib said.
Citing the example of Barack Obama, he said the first African American president of the United States had won the election by pushing for and embodying change.
“In his campaigns, his speeches touched on ‘change that works for you’, ‘forging a new future for America’ and ‘take back America’. His speeches were about hopes and aspirations, not hatred or grief.
The BN, Najib said, would remain sensitive to the changes and reforms required by the people.
He said access to the Internet and satellite television had exposed the people to an information boom.
“Blogs, news portals, Al Jazeera, CNBC and Bloomberg are no longer exclusive to the elites but open to all strata of society. This has added a new dimension to the people’s empowerment as voters.
Najib congratulated Saifuddin for writing the book, which he said had required courage.
It is rare for a serving member of the administration to author a book.Â
The writing of this book is driven by intellectual conviction, burning idealism and a sense of service on his part.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak browsing through the book, â€˜Politik Baruâ€™, written by Deputy Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (left), after launching it at a hotel in Putrajaya yesterday. â€” Bernama picture
Source : The New Straits Times