Outgoing UMNO President, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, during his final presidential speech to the delegates at the 59th UMNO Annual General Assembly today, openly and courageously stated his difficulties, achievements and his future aspiration that UMNO needs to follow if it still wants to remain relevant or face a disastrous demise similarly like the incident in the March 8 General Elections which saw for the first time in history the Malaysian public voting a third of parliament by the Opposition.
Datuk Seri Abdullah stated that UMNO is currently contaminated by greed, complacency and internal rivalries and if this situation is not addressed and corrected, UMNO will exit.
Datuk Seri Abdullah too apologised for his shortcomings and weaknesses while claiming that he had carried out his responsibilities with sincerity and honesty in an open situation, while claiming that he had never betrayed UMNO for his own selfish achievements.
Datuk Seri Abdullah further stated that times have changed and UMNO too need to change according to the aspiration of its members while at the same time taking care of the interest of other Malaysians, to live as one happy family. A number of internal factors which have led to the erosion of public trust in UMNO are as follows:
First: Longevity in power has led to complacency and a number of UMNO leaders are increasingly out of touch with the ordinary people who have been the source of UMNO’s strength for so long;
Second: Relative neglect of the rural community in our desire and intent to achieve developed nation status;
Third: Ineffectiveness of UMNO political programmes in reaching out to the younger generation, apart from what is already being implemented by various governmental institutions;
Fourth: Prolonged conflict among ourselves, especially while competing for positions within the party, has eroded the spirit of fraternity among party members;
Fifth: Materialism has seeped into the party, making a number of party members greedy and avaricious, hence creating the negative perception that UMNO is a corrupt party.
These internal factors have given great fodder to UMNO’s enemies in their efforts to tarnish UMNO.
Datuk Seri Abdullah claimed that its time for UMNO to re-examine itself of its weakness and regain its old glory while summarising them as follows:
First: UMNO’s sensitivity in understanding and dealing with the problems and aspirations of the Malays.
Second: UMNO’s ability and success in managing cooperation among the races and UMNO’s openness in acknowledging the role and importance of other races in our country.
Third: UMNO’s ability to reconcile competing and contradictory demands.
Fourth: UMNO’s ability to adapt to social and political changes.
Fifth: UMNO’s ability to absorb newly-emerging social and political forces.
Sixth: UMNO’s ability to seek a balance between the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, the local and the global.
Datuk Seri Abdullah ended his final speech with a token of thanks to his members for giving him the confidence to preside the party while showing appreciations to everyone who had made him achieve this success while passing on the reins to a younger captain, incoming UMNO President Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, to steer the ship; who is young with maturity and experience will be able to navigate this rich and great nation to greater heights.
news n pictures courtesy of Malaysiakini