“I have never gone against or challenged anyone in my life. I am finally getting there, God willing, as the party president. I have been patient and I have persevered. I have progressed from a deputy minister to a minister, from deputy prime minister to prime minister.”
INCOMING Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, on what it has taken for him to go from number two to number one in Umno and in Malaysia. He also said that outgoing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi gave him “a lot of advice” and that “the trust and responsibility is huge.” (Source: Najib: Umno has served nation well … and will continue to do so, New Straits Times, 22 Mar 2009)
“Firstly, God willing if I win, I have to realise that I am not the No. 1, that I am the No. 2. I have always looked back at the history of Umno, that when you are No. 2 you have to act as the No. 2 and not as the No. 1. That is dangerous. When people ask about the vision, I say it is not my vision. It is his vision which I am aiding. The No. 2 man must behave as the No. 2 and speak as the No. 2. I am very aware of the fact and I have to behave.”
Umno deputy president- and, by extension, deputy prime minister-hopeful Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, on his commitment to being an effective number two. (Source: “I can work with Najib,” says Muhyiddin, Bernama, 20 Mar 2009)
The Umno party poll results will be announced on Thursday, 26 Mar 2009. The contest for deputy president has become more intense after the party’s disciplinary board decided to bar Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam from contesting the post. Umno’s number two position will now be contested by Muhyiddin and Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib.
“I match (Datuk Seri) Shahrizat (Abdul Jalil) better…As a professional and politician who upholds the party’s struggle in the interest of the Malay race and Islam, I would have no problem working with whoever heads Wanita Umno…However, in several issues such as religious struggle and other aspects, I have a higher tendency to work with Shahrizat.”
Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim, on being Wanita Umno’s incoming number two. Kamilia won the post uncontested after Shahrizat, who received enough nominations to contest both the wing’s number one and number two posts, chose to challenge Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz as Wanita chief. (Source: Kamilia akui lebih serasi dengan Shahrizat, Utusan Malaysia, 10 Mar 2009)
A Merdeka Centre opinion poll conducted from 4 to 16 Feb 2009 found that for the Wanita race, 60% preferred Shahrizat as the movement’s chief compared with incumbent Rafidah Aziz (27%).
“I want to announce my full support and loyalty to Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad for him to remain as party president… Dr Mahathir is not a new leader. He has vast experience in all matters. If you compare me to him, I am just a student. I can never go against my mentor, much less my father. We may have some differences, but it is impossible to believe that these petty differences will split us up. When it comes to important matters, including economic issues, we stand united.”
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, on rumours of there being a rift between him and Mahathir back in August 1998. Anwar made this statement in Penang to “kill rumours” that he was challenging Mahathir for the Umno presidency. On 3 Sept 1998, Anwar was sacked as deputy prime minister. (Source: Who’s afraid of Anwar Ibrahim?, Impact International, Vol 28 No 9 [September 1998])