KUALA LUMPUR, 11 May 2009: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak described the High Court decision on the Perak Menteri Besar issue today, which did not favour Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN), as not the end of the road for the party.
Najib, who is also the Umno president, said this was because there was still room for the party to think of appropriate measures to tackle the problem.
“This is not the end of the road. There is still room to think of appropriate action. My colleagues in the supreme council (MT) and I will think deeply on what is the best for Umno and the BN that we love,” he said at the 63rd Umno anniversary celebration at the Putra World Trade Centre, here tonight.
He said the court decision, which had dampened the celebratory mood of the anniversary, was not the first upset for Umno. As a political party, it had gone through numerous challenges throughout its history including several court decisions that did not favour the party.
“In the history of Umno, we have been slapped with a court decision that banned the party, but we rose again with Umno Baru and I believe the same spirit must be with us (in facing the political crisis in Perak),” he said.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court today declared Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin from the Pakatan Rakyat coalition as the legitimate Perak Menteri Besar as there had been no vacancy in the post and no vote of no-confidence passed against him at the state assembly sitting. With this decision, BN-installed Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir has to make way for Nizar.
Describing the court decision as a dampener on the Umno anniversary celebration, Najib however was happy to see that the Merdeka Hall was filled with Umno and BN supporters including the presence of former Umno president and prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
“This is our family and on the strength of this family, we will draw up our plans, we will not be disheartened. We know that we have to shoulder the people’s trust and will not neglect the deeds contributed by the past leaders.
“They are hoping for us to continue the Umno struggle. InsyAllah, we will not only continue (the struggle), but take Umno to greater heights,” he said.
Earlier, Najib and Umno members performed the maghrib and isyak prayers and read the ‘Yaasin’, before delivering his message followed by the cutting of the ‘pulut kuning’ or yellow glutinous rice in conjunction with the Umno anniversary.
Also present were former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the three Umno vice-presidents Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, heads of the Umno wings and leaders of the BN component parties.
However, former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Zambry did not attend the anniversary celebrations. — Bernama