KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Umno cannot afford to be seen as a party that is resistant to new ideas and new people or a party that does not welcome the young.
The Umno deputy president said the party must also ensure that it ceased and desisted from the deplorable acts of eliminating and blocking talented members from making progress in the party.
“Such despicable behaviour only serves to alienate those who sincerely wish to contribute to the struggle.
“If this goes on unchecked, it will spell the beginning of the end for this glorious party that has for so long served as the backbone of the people and the nation,” he said at the simultaneous opening of the general assemblies of the Umno Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings at the Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre, here tonight.
The Deputy Prime Minister said Umno was the party responsible for increasing access to education especially at the tertiary level.
“What is important is that we should not allow the successes achieved by Umno fall into the hands of others. We must capture their imagination and convince them that our party moves in line with their aspirations,” he said.
Referring to the aspect of demography, Najib said more than one-third of the Malaysian population could be categorised as youths, i.e. those who were within the 15 to 40 age group.
He said more than 70 per cent of this group were under the age of 40 and born after the May 13, 1969 tragedy.
“Overall, 90 per cent of the population were born post Merdeka, whereas those born after the end of the New Economic Policy (NEP), i.e. those born in 1991 will be eligible to vote by the year 2012,” he said.
Najib said these changes, coupled with advances in the information and communications technology (ICT), greater accessibility and mobility, economic progress and better education had directly resulted in the birth of a class of voters who were better informed, very demanding and highly critical.
It must be remembered, he said, that this generation might not be able to relate to the past struggles of the party because they were never there and they only learnt of past events from books and stories.
Source : Bernama