Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin says the party must change or be changed. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 22, 2014.
After winning the past two general elections by the skin of its teeth, Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has issued a stern warning to the ruling Malay party: change, or be changed.
He said Umno was in a critical state following the ruling coalition’s unprecedented loss of its two-thirds majority in the 2008 polls and its failure to fare any better in last year’s election.
“I am saying we have reached a rather critical stage, if no change or renewal appears to be happening, the concern is that we will lose.
“The sign is clear in front of us,” Muhyiddin was quoted as saying in Utusan Malaysia today, ahead of Umno’s annual general assembly next week.
The deputy prime minister said Umno had yet to recover from the beating it has suffered since 2008, adding that the party was still plagued by internal strife.
“There are still internal issues which have not been resolved, there are still fights for positions, money politics, carelessness, negligence and forgetfulness, and this includes the party’s wings,” said Muhyiddin.
“We have to self-reflect and admit to this, but we must also take firmer, braver and more effective action,” he said.
Taking aim at the party’s wings, Muhyiddin urged them to step up and do more in handling any issues raised by society, and to play their role in raising awareness among the people.
“No one should consider (Umno) Youth, Wanita or Puteri to have faded, become weakened, or to have kept silent all this while. There are many comments that (the wings) are no longer like the days of old, when they used to come forward if any issue was raised.
“Now they are not seen that way, this (situation) has been going on for quite some time, it cannot go on.
“To me, if we want to change, we must change. Otherwise, we will be changed,” he said.
Muhyiddin said the party wings’ leaders must be clear about the issues Umno championed, but added that they should adopt different approaches in their fight to uphold the interests of the Malays.
“When we use language, isn’t there a way to convey our message clearly without offending others?
“It is important that we never forget Umno’s rise and growth was to champion the race, religion and country. That has never changed. Our methods may be a little different but the message is the same,” he said.
Umno’s 65th annual general assembly will begin next week at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur.
Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has reminded delegates not to touch on sensitive issues during the five-day assembly.
Delegates are expected to debate the controversial Sedition Act 1948, vernacular schools, living costs and restrictions on social media, among others. – November 22, 2014.
– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/umnos-state-critical-must-change-or-will-lose-in-polls-muhyiddin-warns#sthash.jri1iuQI.dpuf