(Updated 10:13pm, 26 March 2009)
KUALA LUMPUR, 26 March 2009: Umno has been urged to implement a rehabilitation plan by adopting Islamic values as the thrust to eliminate negative elements which were spreading in the party.
The representative from the Johor Umno Liaison Body, Datuk Razali Ibrahim, who is also the newly-elected national Umno Youth vice-head, said the party was now being deluged by elements which were contrary to Umno’s culture such as money politics, blocking the rise of leaders and spreading slanders.
“If money is being used to secure party position, then money will be handed around — the objective is money, the method is money, the leader is elected because of money, voting in order to get money.
“What is taken into consideration is whether the struggle will bring about a reward or contract,” he said when tabling the motion of thanks for the Umno president’s policy speech at the Umno general assembly 2008 at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here today.
As such, the rehabilitation plan was most crucial in eliminating all the negative elements because moral and universal ethical values alone could not address the problems without turning to Islamic values, said Razali, who is also the Muar Umno division head.
Tawau Umno division head Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan, who supported the motion, said the plan must be implemented radically and extensively including amending the party constitution so that extreme politicking which could lead to splits in the party could be curbed or even eradicated totally.
Meanwhile, the measures to strengthen the party must emphasise on the creation and improvement of the training and cadre programmes periodically for party members, particularly the Umno Youth and Puteri members, he said.
He said the party had lost a lot of support from the people because of the perception that the party had deviated from its objectives and original struggles.
Meanwhile, a delegate from Penang, Senator Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir, when debating the motion said Penang Umno was determined to win back the state from the opposition pact in the 13th general election.
He said that although the Penang Umno had “lost” a party president as Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is from Penang, was stepping down from the post, it would continue with the struggle to ennoble the Malays and Umno.
“We lost the president but we also like to congratulate and thank Datuk Seri Abdullah for placing the interest of Umno above his party position,” he said.
He called on party leaders to resolve the problem of money politics behind closed doors and not discussing the matter openly in the media as this could embarrass the party.
“We called on the new president to introduce changes; there is no need to say these things in front of TV cameras. We should instead move in swiftly to solve the problem among us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malacca representative Datuk Hasnoor Sdg Husin said Umno must tackle money politics carefully so that this weakness was not exploited by outsiders especially the opposition parties.
He said this phenomenon was nothing new because even when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was prime minister, he had taken various measures to address the problem.
“At that time, Umno was strong. It won all the general elections, but when we highlighted the issue openly, the whole world knew about it and others exploited it to attack us,” he said.
The assembly was then adjourned until 8.30am tomorrow. — Bernama