KUALA LUMPUR, 16 Oct 2009: Kedah Umno today pledged to recapture the ricebowl state from the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in the 13th general election.
“[We believe that] Kedah will fall into our lap. God willing, with our efforts in the general election, we will return Kedah to Umno and the BN,” said its delegate at the Umno general assembly, Datuk Paduka Md Rozai Shafian.
The last general election in 2008 saw Kedah falling to the PR for the first time when it won only 14 of the 36 state assembly seats, compared with the PR’s 21 (PAS with 16, DAP one and Parti Keadilan Rakyat four) and one seat held by an independent.
Rozai, who was debating on the president’s speech, also said the amendments to the party constitution which were passed yesterday showed a big sacrifice on the part of the party president.
He said the minimum requirement imposed on party members wanting to contest the top party posts also demonstrated that Najib had placed the interests of the party above his own position.
“Although I feel that we had made a quick decision on such a big matter, I believe our leaders had received guidance from Allah. The history of Umno’s struggle will record that the party president and deputy president (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin) had placed sacrifice for the party before everything else.
“It’s not easy for a party president and his deputy to sacrifice [their position] by not placing any tough condition for anyone to contest the top posts.
“This has posed a challenge for us, as Umno members, to place the party’s interests first and not our own position,” he said.
Admitting that he was “deeply moved” by the changes, Rozai said he felt that the posts of president and deputy president should be given a bit of “protection”, as the one chosen as Umno president would also become the BN chairperson and prime minister. — Bernama