KUALA LUMPUR, 24 March 2009: Delegates to the Umno general assembly have vowed to heed Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s advice to elect leaders respected by the society for the sake of the people and the nation.
Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said Abdullah told the 2,500 delegates during the pre-conference session at Putra World Trade Centre here today to pick credible leaders and those who put the party above self interest.
The Malacca chief minister said the party president also stressed that those to be elected should be able to stay away from issues that the opposition could take advantage of to weaken Umno.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said Abdullah called on the delegates to consider the candidates’ abilities and use the right formula in making their choices so that the leaders to be brought up are good and at the same can bring good to others.
Perlis Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Md Isa Sabu Abdullah advised the delegates to elect clean leaders and those who can lead and are relevant at all times.
Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said Abdullah reminded the delegates that it is important for Umno to play the role of charting the future direction of the country and the people.
He said the task should be carried out to the best of the party’s ability to safeguard the interest of 27 million Malaysians and to do this, Umno needs to come out stronger.
The transformation toward a stronger party should start from within and therefore the delegates should be careful and prudent in making their choices, he said.
International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that because Umno sees major challenges ahead, the party’s president wanted party unity to be strengthened for its own future and that of the Malay Malaysians.
This week’s election should not cause a split in the party but should serve as a platform to bring back the confidence of the Malay Malaysians and the non-Malay Malaysians in Umno, he said.
Pahang Umno information chief Datuk Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin said the solidarity spirit coupled with the principles in the party’s struggle would ensure its strength in the years ahead.
“This criteria is also in tandem with the smart leadership picking required by party president so that the election will not lead to conflicts which can destroy the party,” he said.
Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Muhammad Muhamad Taib said Abdullah advised party members not to disparage the candidates in their campaign.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lajim Ukim said the delegates should adhere to everything expounded by Abdullah.
“The message gives us, Umno leaders, spirit. The president’s briefing was a guide for the delegates to determine the Umno leadership from this year until 2011,” he said.
Former Selangor menteri besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo also said the message should be used as a guide for the candidates and the delegates to control themselves during the election.
“I hope all candidates control themselves so that no one will face action at the end of it. In our eagerness to campaign, we can create slander against each other and this worries me,” he said.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said Abdullah’s message was a good guide in ensuring a reform in Umno.
“When we are to pick, we pick the best to ensure Umno’s integrity. His speech this time was not that long but packed and it will stay in the hearts of the delegates when they make their choices on 26 March,” he said.
Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said: “The Datuk Seri president also hoped the campaign is conducted in good behaviour and no slander or bad things are spread.”
Incoming Wanita Umno vice-head Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim said Abdullah reminded party members to ensure it remains as the party of choice, the party that gives hopes to the people and the party the people can believe in.
“The president also reminded the members to find a line-up with a view to strengthening the party,” she said.
Current vice-chief of the movement Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said the prime minister wanted the delegates to be smart in making their decisions in the election to determine party leadership.
Puteri Umno information chief Datuk Shahaniza Shamsuddin said Abdullah’s message should be used as a guide for the leadership to restore people’s confidence in Umno.
“We have to strive to bring reform in the party and I reckon this is the message delivered by the president to the delegates,” she said. – Bernama
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