LEADING up to the Umno general assembly starting on Tuesday, Datuk Seri Najib Razak wants Umno members to put the party above self-interest.
Najib, who is Umno president, said party members must make sacrifices and not allow personal feelings or interests to override party interests.
“People who join the party are many, but we want more party people who know the spirit, goals and interests of the party. This is what we want to instil in 3.4 million Umno members,” he said in an interview with Bernama at his residence here yesterday.
The five-day Umno general assembly is seen by many as the last before the 13th general election.
The prime minister said Umno members must have feelings of “love and affection” for the party and were willing to make sacrifices for it.
“This is one of the party’s principles. We are not asking them to sacrifice their wealth or take personal risks.
“But we ask them not to let personal feelings or demands by groups to override interests of the party.”
Umno members should be wary of things that could adversely affect the party and refrain from doing them as it could weaken the party.
“Everyone in Umno knows these things but just knowing about them will not make them disappear.”
Asked about the general assembly, which began with a forum and an international conference, he said the programme was not primed for the general election but to highlight the party’s intellectual value.
It was also to illustrate the role of Umno internationally so that the world understood the party’s objectives, particularly the National Transformation Plan.
He also denied allegations that Umno did not champion the interests of Malays.
“That is not true. Although we have the 1Malaysia slogan, we never said that the Bumiputera agenda is gone. In fact, it is still the main agenda and part of our national agenda.
“What we do with other races is to show that it is our government, a fair government that stands on the pillars of social justice.”
Najib said the Bumiputera agenda would continue, for example, the Bumiputera Agenda Unit (Teraju) that he launched in the morning.
“It is a road map where we announced several new initiatives. This means that we never put aside or dilute our struggle for Bumiputeras.”
Asked about the stand by some Malays that they could survive without Umno, Najib said the people should be aware that the country’s success was the result of Umno’s struggles.
Najib said Umno had successfully met the basic demands of the people by providing various facilities.
He said the diversity of opinions was a sign that society had become more sophisticated and mature.
“I’m not saying that they must feel indebted to us as many will not be happy. What I want to say is that in addition to our track record and deeds, we are also planning for the future.”
Earlier, the government launched a strategic road map for Bumiputera Economic Transformation aimed at increasing Bumiputera economic participation in the country.
In describing it as a “living document”, Najib said the road map would incorporate a new dimension and approach to tackle the imbalance in terms of income and wealth creation among Bumiputeras.
He said although Bumiputeras had made great strides since the introduction of the New Economic Policy 40 years ago, there was still some imbalance, especially in terms of income level and asset ownership.
As such, the road map aimed to ensure that when Malaysia achieves Vision 2020, Bumiputera participation in the economy will be more balanced, especially in high-growth sectors, high-income employment and ownership of big companies.
“In short, the road map will outline policies, strategies and specific initiatives to empower the Bumiputeras.
“The survival of the Bumiputeras depends on the success in implementing this transformation,” he said at the launch of the road map yesterday.
Present were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, ministers and corporate leaders.
Source : New Straits Times