KUALA LUMPUR, 22 Sept (Bernama) — Umno and Barisan Nasional must be modern and progressive and capable of bringing about transformation if they are to continue to hold sway over the people, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Thursday.
The Prime Minister and BN chairman said that Umno and the coalition as a whole must be seen to be leading national renewal, and not the opposition.
“That is why we must as a political party not be afraid to be in the frontline to handle change after change,” Najib said at a Merdeka-Raya open house hosted by Umno Youth, Wanita Umno and Putri Umno here.
Najib, who is Umno president, linked the change to the proposed repeal of the Internal Security Act which he said had nothing to do with opposition demands.
“I promised two years ago that the ISA would be amended not because of any request from the opposition. I have kept my promise with the repeal of the ISA which will be replaced by two new Acts and several other measures,” he said.
Najib said the rejuvenation of Umno which began three years ago, putting the people first, had increased support for the party.
“The people have started to become confident that the ‘people first’ concept is no mere slogan but something which the party is genuinely striving for through various policies and programmes,” he said.
Najib spoke of the successes that the coalition and the country had achieved by being ahead of others.
While others resorted to arms in the struggle for Independence, leaders of the country chose the peaceful path by fostering good relations among the various races, he said.
“We were ahead of our time when we forged political partnership among the various races through the Alliance, and BN has been able to run the country in peace and establish internal stability,” he said. Citing another example, Najib said the country had been successful in defeating the communists by winning the hearts and minds of the people.
As for the 1950 Bukit Kepong tragedy in Johor, he said Umno would always honour people who died in the attack by communists although there were those who denied their sacrifice.
Source : Bernama