KUALA LUMPUR, 15 Oct 2009: The renewal steps taken by Umno through amendments to the party’s constitution should be emulated by other component parties in the Barisan Nasional (BN) if they want to be re-accepted by the people, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The deputy prime minister said by doing so, the people would be able to see that the BN was serious about undertaking reforms.
“If the people are to accept the BN, a similar change process should take place at the component level,” he said.
Muhyiddin (File pic) “We cannot see the role of the components separately; each has its own role. [But] if we (Umno) change but the components don’t, people will still say we have not changed,” he told reporters here.
He said the changes should encompass aspects like leadership and political styles, which involve integrity and people relations. However, Muhyiddin said it was up to the component parties themselves whether they wanted to implement change or continue as they were.
“If they feel there is need for reforms, they can make the changes because they are better in the know as to how to make their parties stronger, more inclusive and more democratic.”
Commenting on the amendmends made to Umno’s constitution today, Muhyiddin said the unanimous support for the changes by delegates showed that they understood the need for them and were ready to ensure Umno was more democratic and inclusive.
Muhyiddin dismissed fears that the new election system for top party posts approved by the delegates would cause leadership changes within short spans and jeopardise the implementation of policies.
“On the contrary: I am of the view that with the new system, leaders now must prove that they are good leaders, be hands-on, and be seen as working for the people and the party to ensure he or she continues to be elected when polls are held,” he said.
Like Muhyiddin, People’s Progressive Party president Datuk M Kayveas regarded Umno amending its constitution as a brave move that should be emulated by the other BN components.
Other BN leaders noted that Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s policy speech when opening the Umno general assembly emphasised the importance of the parties championing and putting the people above themselves.
Koh (File pic courtesy of theSun) Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon felt that the message in the speech was not only directed at Umno, but at all BN component parties.
“We do believe in this principle, approach and spirit. There will be changes as desired by the people, and this is a good start, not only for Umno but also for the BN, so that we will refocus on the community.
“We will get close to the people and champion their lot. This will be a point of transformation in Umno and the BN. We will unite in this effort,” he said when met after the opening of the assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre here today.
United Sabah People’s Party president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said the Umno president’s message clearly demonstrated that he wanted the nation’s leaders to change their attitudes, and be closer to the people and understand their needs.
Najib also outlined several matters that could win over the people for their own progress and comfort, regardlss of status, race and culture, he said.
Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) president Datuk William Mawan said Najib’s policy speech, besides being inspiring and reassuring, also brought all the component parties in the BN to the next frontier for the future.
“The most important thing is, Umno, as the leader of the component parties in the BN, must be strengthened and readapt itself to changes so that other component parties can be proud and take inspiration from it,” he said.
William said the speech covered a very broad scope that reached out to everybody, in every perspective.
“People might have felt a little weary and a bit [disgruntled] before, but because of the speech we can prepare ourselves for the future,” he added. — Bernama