KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 (Bernama) — Umno Deputy President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak tonight recorded his highest appreciation to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for his leadership of the party in the last five years.
Speaking before a sea of Wanita Umno, Umno Youth and Puteri Umno delegates, the deputy prime minister said that Abdullah had worked hard in instituting changes throughout his tenure.
“I, on behalf of Umno, would like to record my highest appreciation and thanks to the party president who has led the party for the past five years,” he said in the joint opening of the Wanita, Youth and Puteri general assemblies tonight.
Najib said the changes introduced by the prime minister were based on the philosophy of nurturing a strong pool of human capital.
“Pak Lah saw that half a century after we attained independence, we successfully built modern infrastructure of world class standards. All of that had to be complemented with competitive and highly skilled human capital,” he said. Najib, who won the Umno president’s post uncontested, told the delegates he would continue to work hard to strengthen the country’s human capital, which he said was an important component in the country’s national mission.
He also spoke of Abdullah’s effort to increase confidence in the judiciary through the setting up of the Judicial Appointments Commission.
“He also continued his effort to fight corruption by establishing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission,” he said.
Najib said Abdullah had also contributed a lot in providing social safety net in terms of fighting hardcore poverty and strengthening the agricultural sector.
The Umno General Assembly is the last for Abdullah as party president following his decision not to defend the post he has held since 2004.
Najib told the delegates that he also appreciated the roles of Umno’s three wings.
“As the biggest of all of Umno’s wings, Wanita Umno under the leadership of Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz has displayed unwavering commitment whatever the circumstances, especially each time we face election,” he said.
Najib however called on the movement, which will see a contest for the top post between Rafidah and vice-chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, to remain united and not forsake what the party had achieved for a temporary excitement arising from the contest.
“The victor must be magnanimous and accept the vanquished with an open heart. The vanquished must accept the decision of the delegates and continue with the struggles of the party,” he said.
Najib also thanked the Umno Youth and paid tribute to its outgoing chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and urged the movement’s members to continue their warriorship in defending the party.
“The same goes for Puteri Umno which we formed almost a decade ago. Puteri has successfully ignited the interest of young women to be involved in mainstream politics.
“I thank Datuk Noraini Ahmad for a job well done throughout her tenure as the leader of Puteri,” he said.
He also called on the members to the movement to continue working hard as they constituted an element that would rejuvenate the party’s struggle.
Source : Bernama