On this short flight to Alor Setar for a brief one-day working visit today, I finally have a chance to quickly put my thoughts to paper, after such a hectic schedule that has been continuing since Hari Raya.
As everyone knows, so much has happened in the last week. Alhamdulillah I am glad that the recent developments in the political sphere, has put to rest many questions about the succession plan in UMNO. As we all know by now, the Prime Minister had, on the 8th of October, announced that he would not be defending his post as the President of UMNO at the next General Assembly of the Party in March 2009.
Leading up to this moment, there had been intense speculation by political pundits everywhere about what was likely to happen in UMNO. Many predicted chaos and disunity arising from a leadership tussle. It is now obvious that such speculation was quite misguided. UMNO has its own way of resolving difficulties, and the interest of the party and country is always our top priority. This decision by the Party President and Prime Minister is a wise move that ensures a peaceful and orderly transition of power as has been the tradition in UMNO for decades.
This development comes at a critical juncture for our country, a time when we are at a crossroads in determining our way forward. As Deputy President of UMNO, I am, in terms of party hierarchy, next in line to take over the exalted office of party President and consequently, by convention, the office of Prime Minister. I am humbled by this notion as I have always viewed leadership as a great responsibility for one to shoulder. It is to me nothing less than an ‘amanah’ , a sacred trust that one must honour, protect and uphold in the name of the people and the nation. I am most honoured and grateful that the Prime Minister has the trust and confidence in me to succeed him and take over the mantle of leadership of the party and the Country.
Yesterday in Terengganu I officially offered my self to be nominated as a candidate for the office of the President of UMNO. InshaAllah, with the support of the grassroots of UMNO I hope to be able to continue the struggles of the party and bring positive changes for the country and for the people. I hope that I will also receive the support and confidence of Malaysians of every race and from all walks of life so that we can all work together hand in hand, united as one Malaysia in facing the many challenges that lie ahead.