KUALA LUMPUR, 28 March 2009: Former Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam has urged party members to give the undivided support to the new party line-up.
He said Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin needed the support of party members to navigate the party through turbulence.
Congratulating Najib for winning the presidency unchallenged, Mohd Ali said he was confident that Najib would be able to take Umno and the country to greater heights.
“To Sri Muhyiddin, I wish to congratulate you, I am confident Tan Sri will be able to discharge his duty well and live up to the expectation,” he said in his winding-up speech at the Umno general assembly here today.
Mohd Ali also congratulated the three newly elected vice-presidents and the newly elected chiefs of the three wings.
Relating his experience, he said, “To be a leader is not easy, at times we are happy and at other times we are depressed.”
On his disqualification to contest the deputy presidency, he said, “What is important to me, who rose from the grassroots 40 years ago, I accepted the decision with an open heart.”
Mohd Ali urged his supporters to continue to support the Umno leadership although he was no longer in the line-up.
“As an Umno activist, my heart and soul is always with the party and I will continue to contribute to the religion, race and country,” he said.
To aspiring candidates who had lost in party elections, he urged them to help strengthen the party.
“Don’t despair. The winner doesn’t win all and the loser doesn’t lose all. It is not the end of the world,” he said.
To former Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Mohd Ali wished him well and described his readiness to make way for Najib as the reflection of a statesmanship.
Mohd Ali, who ended his speech with a ‘pantun’, was given a standing ovation by the delegates. — Bernama